Re-Inspire A Good Employee

Stepping in when a top employee's performance goes flat

One of your best employees isn't performing up to par.It's not just one off day, or even an occasional mistake;it's a clearly noticeable downward spiral. You can't affordnot to take action.

Here are three ways you can re-energize a top performer:

1. Acknowledge the change in performance. Let the employeeknow you've observed a difference in his or her jobperformance, and ask for the worker's perspective on thesituation. Avoid taking an accusatory tone and highlight some ofhis or her past achievements.

2. Uncover the real issues. Help the employee determine thereasons underlying the problem. A change in performance may stemfrom a work-related incident that caused poor morale, such as beingpassed over for a promotion. Or the employee may be experiencingburnout or no longer feeling challenged. It's also possible theproblem is something personal.

3. Brainstorm solutions. Once you've identified theproblem, work with the employee to develop and implement solutions.If the problem is skills-based, arrange for training. If burnout isthe problem, solutions may include giving new assignments,providing help with the workload or offering vacation time. If theissue is a temporary personal problem, you may be able to wait itout; but if it's more complicated, make referrals to theavailable assistance resources. Above all, don't give up on theemployee.

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