Dinesh Divekar
Business Mentor, Consultant And Trainer
Office Superintendent
Career Management, Talent & Capability
+3 Others

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One of the co.had given me a situation i.e.You are HR Person ...and one of your employee , having many years exp. in this co.but nowdays his performance has became very poor and he is taking leave again & again. But Co.don't want to loose this employee as he is very important and senior most person and unable to face Co. losses also In this kind of situation how can you inform that employee and motivate him.
From India, Mumbai
Dear Rajashree,

You could have told that the employee in question needs to be given feedback by his/her senior. There is a procedure of counselling. Click here to refer my reply of past post. If this does not help then we have to follow process of progressive discipline. This issue needs to be handled by the seniors of that employee and there is no room for delegation in this case.

If the interviewer would have still persisted then you could have told that we cannot afford to look at the person. Rather we should look at the performance issues and handle the matter accordingly.

By the way, what reply did you give that you have not mentioned.

All the best!

Dinesh V Divekar

From India, Bangalore
In this situation we need to council and understand the employee first rather then assuming any thing. May be he/she is having some problem in professional / personal life because of that his/her performance is down. We need to give him space to talk instead of policing.
After all above we need to motivate the employee by referring his or her past performances and results. Also we need to compare his/her current performance and suggest where is the gap. We can tell the employee that you were the example among all the employees and if your performance will be down then employees / management will loose the trust.
At last, company needs result and one has to deliver. If not then we need to follow "Performance Improvement Plan" to tackle the situation.
Chill HR

From India, Gurgaon
I agree with two replies. It is always to fallow the procedure for the benefit of both the department and the individual. Good luck venkatesh tekumalla
From India, Bangalore
Dear Gurgaon HR,
What Rajeshree has written is about senior most employee. When senior most employee does not perform then can we follow regular route of "counselling" or "PIP"? And by the way, if at all this is to be done then who will do it? Junior person like Rajeshree? Have you seen any senior employee put on "PIP" or counselled by junior HR?
Don't you think that there is mismatch in the question asked and the solution that you have proposed?
As I have written in my previous post, ideally this situation has to be handled by MD himself. It cannot be delegated to some junior employee. How MD handles this situation would be a great lesson to junior like Rajeshree. MD need not even consult junior like her as it would demean this position. If at all if he wishes to seek advice then he may hire some external consultant.
Dinesh V Divekar

From India, Bangalore
Here are my thoughts on this situation.
1. One must be Strategic interventionist to deal this situation, this could really unfold ones core personal values, what has impacted a person in any circumstances. Avoid motivation create a context for him and his life and in the process live him transformed.
All the best

From India, Bangalore
Hi Rajashree,
Since its an interview question & not actual situation, you need to take a stand which demonstrates your decision making & subject matter expertise.
For that you need to always probe a little more whenever there is a situation. Probing helps to corner the interviewer and gives you time to come to conclusion. Had i been in your place, i would have asked; is the person in sales or delivery, How big is his team?
The answer could be SALES, handling Team of 15 ppl.
In that case i would try to find out if he has any personal issue which compels him to take a leave. I would allow him a absence from office on specific days to suit him without compromising on his sales target. I will reiterate the target he has to achieve irrespective of leaves & work from home.
Secondly, i will talk to the senior most subordinate in his team & give him partial responsibility of team handling.

From India, New Delhi

Great question! and one that was asked to assess your capability as a good HR professional in the following areas:

-- are you capable of handling senior members

-- are you proactive in your approach

-- do you have the capability to think out of the box ( be innovative in your approach)

So what would my approach be to this problem. Quite different from what has been proposed till now.... :-)

I will try to first explain what my opinion is of the problem itself and then maybe the solution that i propose would make more sense.

About the employee :-

-- Committed ( long term employment)

-- Performer ( Has been top performer previously)

-- Industry recognition (Management doesn't want to lose him, Important person) - This cant be only because of what management feels but also because how the market will react to the news of his leaving the organization. A true " Key member" profile

About his present Condition :-

--- Depressed (Can't face losses and taking leaves regularly )

--- De motivated ( Too frequent leaves and no proactive activity being done to change the situation)

Speculation about his thought process :-

-- NO value in trying to get out of the situation ( Given up - hopeless situation)

-- Not happy doing the same thing again and again ( no interest hence no activity)

-- Communication failure ( His communication channel with Management not as effective as before. The chances are that they are not listening. He tried, no effect and hence no more)

It is a misconception that motivation can only be done by a senior. Anyone can motivate anybody... You just need to know how. A classic example is a that of a child - unconsciously a parent gets motivated so easily by children, don't they?

So what would my approach be?

I will start an informal dialog with the senior professional. I will immediately transform him into the role of an advisor. I will play the same scenario back to him (telling him about a fictitious friend having a problem and how i need to help them. and how i felt he would be the right person to advice me on this because of his profile, expertise and experience) and ask him what the possible solution would be...:-). I will repeatedly go to him over the next few days, deliberately steering the conversation more and more deep into the situation, arguing, discussing, steering him towards his own experiences with the whole purpose of getting him to relive his past glories again.... and again.... questioning him why the same cant be done now... what changed and why. I will ensure that all along he is in the "teacher" mode sharing knowledge.

In a few dialog you WILL get the root cause of the existing problem and the chances are that the solution will also be there, right in front of you. By doing this exercise , you will not only inform the candidate but also motivate him.

The chances are that you will need to get this professional transform from a performer to a mentor. His job role needs to change. He needs to become a teacher. He should not be the performer but a creator of multiple similar performers. His new role as a creator will give him new energy and motivation to once again achieve and succeed. That is, in my honest opinion, one of the ways to convert this desperate situation into a win win situation for everyone, all around.

Just my way of handling the situation and opinions will differ on how effective it can be...:-)

Cheers and a happy festival season for every one.

Navneet Chandra

From India, Delhi
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