I often hear this phrase about an employee…
“They are really sweet but I just can’t trust them to do everything they are supposed to!”
Well, you have 2 choices:
Get rid of them – if you can’t trust them to do the work you will be constantly worrying about it and chasing them. Is that the best use of your time and energy? You employ others to help you, not make your life harder! Initially, there will be upset but it’s my experience that often the rest of the team will not only “step-up” to help cover until they are replaced but also will be much happier. It sounds crazy but even though the team may have to do more work short term the fact that they are not “carrying” that person, or getting frustrated that work isn’t being done themselves can really make a difference. [Remember to get proper legal advice first]
You put in place systems and checklists that ensure that both of you completely understand what the role entails, the responsibilities, the priorities and the consequences of not completing the job.
The first stage is to sit down with that person and discuss what they believe they are responsible for delivering in their role. Then to discuss what challenges they think they have and how you can work together to deal with them.
Now it’s your turn to explain what you need that role to deliver. But remember this process has to be handled sensitively (if you want to keep the person concerned).
Some people can take feedback as a personal attack, so how you position things can be crucial. (If you want to know how to handle these sorts of situations and your team better then contact me)
Once you have agreed on the role and accountabilities you need to work together to initially create a series of daily/weekly/monthly checklists that they can use and report to you with so that you can be confident that work is being done. Checklists can be a real “comfort blanket” for both of you until you have more confidence in each other.
We both know that this takes time and patience but it is an investment that truly pays dividends!