Once you compile a record of the problem, your next task is to assess whether it is the result of the management difficulties, personality difficulties, changes in the environment or work conditions, or other factors. Ask yourself these questions:
1. Is this a single incident or part of a pattern?
2. Are other employees exhibiting this pattern?
3. Does this represent a change in the employee’s behavior?
4. Is the performance problem due to:
poor communications by management?
a change in the work environment?
a lack of knowledge, training, or experience?
an obvious physical problem?
a conflict with management?
unreasonable standards expected by the employer?
a recent trauma?
5. How serious is the problem behavior and what are the potential dangers and consequences if this problem is not resolved?
6. Could the employee change the performance if his/her life depended on it?
7. Am I equipped to handle this problem myself, and if not, who can help me?
8. Am I prepared to take disciplinary action if necessary?
9. Does the employee want to work and does he/she want this job?
10. What is a realistic goal for the employee?
After you assess the information, your next step is to prepare to talk to the troubled employee, present the problem and the options, and attempt to correct the problem.