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September 20, 2018

Handling the Incompetent

You will be stuck between either disciplining your employee by training or dealing with them in a way that empowers them by dismissing them.

Handling the Incompetent
Cooper Fitch Dubai
Cooper Fitch Dubai
Cooper Fitch Dubai
Cooper Fitch Dubai

Managing employees is not an easy task and it requires certain expertise and practices. As a leader, you will come in touch with different types of employees who exhibit a variety of skills. While you are hiring for an open position in your organisation, there is a high chance you might end up employing an incompetent worker. The word incompetent can encompass a number of adjectives. Your incompetent employee might have the right knowledge but they might not necessarily be able to efficiently get the work done or might have a limited skill set or is incompetent in one way or another. Their incompetency might also be a lack of opportunity, ability or motivation. You will be stuck between either disciplining your employee by training or dealing with them in a way that empowers them by dismissing them. Here are some tips on how you can deal with an incompetent employee.

Communicate Clearly

The first step towards resolving an issue is acknowledging it. As a leader, it is your responsibility to communicate and confront your employee about their pitfalls and explain to them how they can improve their performance.  A lot can go wrong when there is a lack of clear communication. According to the Work Management Survey (2015), the top work stressor was missing information, with 52 percent of respondents naming it as an issue. Also high on the list were unclear leadership (44 percent) and unclear accountability (44 percent). Being explicit and straightforward about a problem makes you closer to the solution. Identifying the situation as a potential weakness professionally and politely will lead to agreeably discussing the situation. Strong communication will also allow you to find out if there is something from your end that can be done to ameliorate the problem.

Set Expectations

When was the last time you described “productive” and “efficient” to your team? There are so many ways an incompetent employee can turn into an office superstar. One of the tricks to help them become better is by setting clear goals and expectations. No matter how trivial, each and every employee needs to have clearly identified tasks that are required to be fulfilled within a certain period of time. Before labelling an employee as incompetent, try defining their potential first and start by providing them with tasks that do not surpass their ability. To ensure their development, make sure they are in a constant competition with themselves. There is no point in putting a less capable employee in competition with someone else. Instead, ensure that their productivity gets better by the day.

Exchange Responsibilities

Everyone has a weakness and the reason your employee might not be proficient enough can be as simple as they are not necessarily good at what they are doing. It is your job as a leader to identify the strong suits of your team members and allocating responsibilities accordingly. Your decision about dismissing a certain individual can be hasty if you first did not try to explore their talents elsewhere. As long as you are not interfering or hurdling the overall plan of your business, there is no harm in exchanging responsibilities in order to discover the true and underlying weaknesses and strengths of your incompetent or underperforming employee.

To be a capable leader, you are not required to mould capable people but you are required to understand the potentials of each and every employee of yours. When you act as an effective communicator, mentor and problem-solver,  you can take your organisation to another level. Firing an employee should never be any manager’s first choice as a high turnover rate can be detrimental and risky to the business flow of your company. The skill is in knowing the exact problems lurking beneath and finding the right place within your organisation for each and every employee you are responsible for.

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