Holding managers and staffers accountable for the work they do is a day-in, day-out job. Leaders in any organization may be tempted to let some folks off the hook for a minor mistake or communication breakdown sometimes.
But letting an employee slide more than once can lead to a pattern of behavior that’s hard to break. And if they’re taking company policies or financial rules lightly, it can put the company on the line.
Here are the four most common excuses supervisors and execs give for allowing staffers to get by with subpar performances, followed by the reason why they should be held accountable.
If one or more of these excuses sound familiar, it could be a warning side that it’s time to get tougher with any problematic employees.
1. “It only happened once”
If a staffer starts underperforming, there’s a tendency to think it’s a problem that will pass. Or it’s just an excusable slip-up – “don’t worry, it won’t happen again!”
But that “one-time” problem can turn into a “next-time” problem and snowball from there.
You’re better off addressing problem behaviors before they become bad habits that are tough to break.
2. “They know what they did wrong”
When someone’s work isn’t up to snuff, it’s crucial to do more than just give hints that you’re not happy about it.
Have a conversation and make sure to include specific examples of what needs to be improved.
If you assume workers know what they did wrong instead of spelling it out, they’re likely to make the same mistakes again.
3. “I don’t want to micromanage”
Micromanaging competent employees is a bad idea. Failing to jump in and micromanage a worker who’s struggling and try to correct the situation is an even bigger mistake.
Holding a crew accountable for the mistakes they make is not the same as micromanaging. In fact, it’s best for staffers to get honest feedback about their work so they can improve, if need be.
4. “I don’t want to hurt morale”
This is a valid concern, but not necessarily a problem to worry about. Constructive (and patient) criticism boosts morale. When you give no feedback, that’s a surefire morale-killer.
Staffers will always have questions and concerns about their performance, and getting timely feedback from you is a big part of them knowing the answers.