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Is it a matter of skill or is it will?

That’s the question you need to ask yourself when a team member isn’t meeting your expectations as a leader.

Knowing whether the gap in performance is a skill issue or a motivation problem helps you gain the clarity you need to create the most effective solution.

If it turns out to be a skills issue, that is, the employee isn’t capable of performing their tasks to the desired level of safety, quality, and productivity, then training will be your solution.

Provide re-training and checklists, work instructions, pictures, samples, and any other tools so the team member can be reminded of expectations and the right procedures to get the job done.

When the problem is a matter of will, the employee can do the job, but they just aren’t motivated to do it well on a consistent basis. In these scenarios, you can help create a motivational environment by communicating how the job contributes to the bigger picture, provide positive feedback as their performance improves, add some variety to their work and then show your personal attention to them. Make them feel like they’re a valuable member of your team.

If you give up on an employee without attempting the above, they’ll feel your sense of hopelessness and it will become increasingly difficult for them to stay motivated.

Before tackling employee performance, get clear on whether it’s a skills issue or a motivation issue. Click To Tweet

And then, choose your solution accordingly.

Anybody can hand out disciplinary actions, but the sign of a great leader is one who first gets down to the root of the problem. Make this a staple in your process and you’ll raise the output of your department and make your job easier.

In your experience, are most performance issues related to skill or will?