Four universal truths about management:
You are responsible for the performance of those that report to you.
You need to take action when an employee is not delivering what is expected from them. Confronting an employee when they are at fault is one of the most difficult conversations a manager has to have with an employee.
Employees often feel that their managers pick on them unfairly, micromanage them or get on their case for things that don’t really matter. Therefore they feel their manager is a nag.
There is a big perception gap between a manager doing their job and the employees’ reaction. As a manager you are then expected to make a clear distinction between a legitimate performance issue or work habit and pet peeves.
How do you differentiate between a legitimate performance issue, work habit and pet peeves?
Performance Issue: This is what the employee is getting paid to do, sometimes its measurable but not always. Although confronting an employee about bad performance is not particularly pleasant, they will take less offence in this case as its about the job and not personal.
Work Habits This is the way the employee does their work, this is not direct output performance but poor work habits will lead to poor results. As a manager, when confronting work habits you must elaborate the clear connection between the behavior, performance and company performance.
Pet Peeves These are the little things the employee does that irritate the manager, i.e. a sales person with a messy desk. This issue is not necessarily grounds for dismissal of the employee, it requires a bit of tolerance and compromise from both parties if necessary.
Therefore in order to manage your employees more effectively, there must be a clearly distinguished connection between certain habits / performances to the company’s overall work objectives.