by Michael Holland     

For an employee to perform well, there are seven areas of need that must be met.

  • Knowledge and skill
  • Capacity
  • Clear expectations
  • Defined standards and measures
  • Proper conditions
  • Incentives
  • Feedback

When an employee isn’t performing well, we too often assume it’s a “capacity issue,” thus the person just isn’t able. Before you write someone off too quickly, make sure you’ve paid attention to the other performance needs they have.

  • Have they received adequate training?
  • Are your expectations clear?
  • Is there a defined level of success?
  • Does the person have the resources they need?
  • Are there rewards for performance?
  • Are you providing feedback and coaching?

There are certainly times when an employee is not the “right fit” for a position. But before we make that determination, we need to first make sure we are doing our job as leaders.

Coaching Thoughts – For You and Your Peers 

  • When you are not performing well as a leader, which questions resonate most for you?
  • Make it real:  Copy & paste the “7 areas” to a spreadsheet.  Put the name of each of your employees across the columns.  Take 6 minutes to assess the employees across the seven areas, using scales that make sense for you/your organization.  Take another 7 minutes to analyze the data and make appropriate action plans.
  • Grab a peer manager and each of  force rank the 7 areas.  Discuss your rankings, similarities and differences.