The Supervisor's Toolbox: Assessment & Clarification

As a supervisor, once you've noticed a problem or a change in one of your employees such as the ones we've listed, you must begin to take action. The first consideration, particularly with a new or a recently promoted employee, is to assess and clarify:

ASSESS – Does the employee have:

  • The ability?
  • The training or requisite skills?
  • The motivation?

CLARIFY – Does the employee understand:

  • The performance standards?
  • The behavioral standards?
  • The company's policy (ies)?

Does the employee possess the ability to do the job? If there is a physical requirement, does the employee have the physical ability to do the job? Similarly, if the task is a complex or intricate mental exercise, does the employee have the ability to successfully master the work? In some cases, physical training or classroom education may be sufficient to bring the employee's abilities to the standard. When education or training is insufficient, the task may be altered or modified to accommodate the employee's capabilities. There are times when neither approach works well enough. In these cases, the employee may need to be reassigned or dismissed.

If, during your assessment, you determine the employee has the ability and knowledge to do his or her assignment it may be necessary to remind the employee about what is expected of him or her. It is not uncommon, in our fast-paced work environment, to neglect to fully explain or adequately orient employees to the workplace performance standards and organizational policies.

With some employees, performance problems or workplace behavior problems are quickly eliminated with adequate information. When the employee is clearly told the expectations for his or her performance, or is educated about the company's policies, many problems go away.