THE PROBLEM RESOLUTION PROCESS

Action:

  1. Clearly identify the performance issue.
  2. Write down your goal in speaking with the person.
    Examples:
    1. Help Joe get his closing % from 40% to 55%
    2. Determine if Joe should be free to explore employment opportunities elsewhere
  3. Write out a clear explanation as to why you have scheduled a meeting with that person:
    Example:
    “For the last three weeks, your closing % has dropped from 55% to less than 38% with no improvement. The reason I wanted to speak to you today is to find out why that % has been dropping and determine what needs to happen to get those results back on track.”
  4. Get acknowledgment from the person that there is a problem.
    Example:
    Joe, you can see that there is an issue that needs to be addressed here, can’t you?

CRITICAL MILESTONE #1

If the person does not recognize that the performance identified is an issue, Address THAT as a separate issue.

Example:

Joe, the fact that you do not recognize this level of performance as an issue that needs to be corrected: is a problem with-in itself. Let’s talk about THAT, shall we?

Repeat steps three and four (with the new issue) until the person understands and recognizes that the level of performance IS a problem and needs to be addressed.

If after three attempts, the person STILL refuses to recognize the performance issue as a problem that needs to be addressed, cut to the chase.

Example:

Joe, we have projected minimum levels of performance expected from all salespeople. Everyone, including you, agreed to those projections. You are falling short in this area. If you’re telling me that you are not willing to recognize that you need help in this area due to poor results, you are telling me that you don’t want to be a part of this team anymore.

Is that what you’re telling me, Joe?

Wait for response:

When the person recognizes that YES their performance is an issue that needs to be corrected,

Ask the person to state their reasoning as to why the performance is low.

CRITICAL MILESTONE #2

Listen intently to the person’s response. If the person is: “Outer-directed”

Write down every reason. When the person finishes “dumping their frustrations” repeat the list of reasons to them.

Example:

Thanks for sharing those reasons for me Joe, to make sure that I clearly understand, you said: (repeat all of the reasons).

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Listen; make sure that Joe is completely finished.

Briefly review each “reason”.

Explain the action that you are going to take.

I am going to look into each of these items today.

Ask the “What If” question.

(The “What If” is an attempt to get Joe to take ownership of the issue)

Joe, if I am not able to resolve these issues in the short term, what can YOU DO now to improve your performance?

Listen for an inner-directed response.

If you get another Outer-directed response or if the person is unwilling to own the issue, Go back to step 3 and repeat the process:

Joe, the fact that you are unwilling to do whatever you can to improve your own performance while I address these other challenges is another issue that we need to deal with.

If you are telling me that you are not willing to do what you can to improve your own performance, you’re telling that you don’t want to be a part of this team.

Is that what you’re telling me, Joe?

Listen to the person’s response and help them make a career decision.

“Inner-directed”

Write down every reason.

Thanks for sharing those reasons for me Joe, to make sure that I clearly understand, you said: (repeat all of the reasons).

Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Listen; make sure that Joe is completely finished.

Briefly review each “reason”.

Offer to help.

Joe, as I see it, I believe it would be very helpful for you if:

  1. We schedule a field sales evaluation on (date)
  2. Identify areas for improvement
  3. Review the training material available in those area’s
  4. Schedule a role-play session every Tuesday and Thursday morning from &:00 to 8:00 am for the next three weeks
  5. Schedule you for a three-day formal training workshop on the (date) with the HVAC Coaching Corner team.
  6. By doing this I will expect your closing percentages to bounce back to at least 50% within the next two weeks.
  1. Put a plan of action for the person in a place with accountabilities and due dates.
  2. Hold the person accountable to the plan.
  3. Sign the plan.
  4. Has the person involved signed the plan?
  5. Establish a performance review date upon completion of the plan.

Considerations

As effective managers, the best we can do is to create an environment where people can attain a level of success.

Whether people choose to be successful with-in that environment or not is entirely up to them, provided we give them every opportunity to be successful by implementing processes that have a proven track record of success when followed properly.

To ensure success and to further develop the capability of the people following the processes, it is imperative that the results be tracked and reviewed on a consistent basis.

Once problems are identified or when sub-standard performance results are noticed, it is the responsibility of the manager to identify the barrier keeping the employee from attaining success and take the appropriate measures to remove those barriers.

Barriers in the way of the success will fall into three categories: Lack of Technical competencies, a flaw in the process being implemented or behavioral challenges with the individual.

More often than not, you will experience a combination of two:

Behavioral challenges or “mental blocks” preventing the person from developing themselves in the area of their weakness (Lack of a technical competency) or a perceived flaw in the process being implemented due to an unwillingness to change (behavioral challenge).

Everything we as managers do in the development of our team should be in the spirit of helping the employee develop into a better person resulting in better performance.

Most of the time, it will work. Sometimes it will not. When you find yourself in the undesirable position of addressing a challenge where the employee refuses to take ownership of the change or the development process, remember this: The choice to be successful or not within the environment created for your team is entirely up to each member of the team.

As long as you have given them proper instruction, direction, coaching and ample time to take ownership of the situation, you have done as much as you can do. In short, if you cant convince the person to change, change the person.

Problem Resolution Outline

Meeting Date: __________
Managers Name: ________________________
Employee’s Name: ______________________

  • Explain reason for meeting
  • Get acknowledgement that there is a problem or performance issue that needs to be addressed.
  • Ask the employee to explain the underlying cause of the problem or performance issue.
  • Get a commitment from the employee to resolve the issue.
  • Create a written plan to address the issue.
  • Get a commitment from the employee to the plan.
  • Follow up on the plan. (With-in 10 days)
  • Re-evaluate the situation and repeat steps 4-7 if needed.

Managers signature: _______________

Employee Signature: _______________