“ I don’t understand why Betsy keeps missing deadlines. I keep telling her how important they are, and she keeps promising to do it, but things just never seem to change. She’s a great employee in so many other respects, I just don’t get it.”
Does that sound familiar?
Many of us have faced a situation like this at one time or another.
A person reporting to you keeps falling short on the same issue time after time. Maybe it’s meeting deadlines, as with Betsy above. Maybe it’s making too many small mistakes and not paying attention to details.
Whatever the exact nature of the problem, the common elements in these situations seem to be an employee who keeps missing the mark in some area and a boss who keeps giving him or her a second, third, or fourth chance.
As a supervisor, this can be a tremendously frustrating situation.
You want your people to succeed.
So you keep trying to fix the situation.
You try feedback and reminders.
You might sometimes offer lavish praise when you see small progress.
You reinforce the message over and over, to the point of “sounding like a broken record”, as one client told us.
But all to no avail.
The person appears to hear the boss’ feedback, seems to understand the issue, often appears sincere in promising to do better, but the end result is the same: the person slips back consistently into the unproductive behavior.
Read More Are You Giving Your Employees Too Many Second Chances?