Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 7

humanresources

Four Ways Managers Can Help Improve
Employee Performance
Bruce Clark

W

hen a manager says "meet me halfway," what do
they mean?
Halfway is never the goal in our work or personal
lives. We want 110 percent from each other, right?

In the workplace, meet-me-halfway is shorthand for "I have
to decide if you are worth more investment of my time and
energy, and if you do not meet me halfway, I have my answer."
Poor performers are so for a variety of reasons. Putting
problems clearly on the table, along with solutions, is difficult.
Meet-me-halfway can be a useful clarifying tool.
Managers may use these four questions to decide whether a
poor-performer will meet them halfway:
Have you contributed in any way to these poor
results? An employee who says they have no part
to play in their poor work is unlikely to do the things
needed to improve. Giving a chance to acknowledge
fault is a good way to advance a stalled conversation about
improvement. Surprisingly, there are poor performers who
will deny any part in the problem. In that case, you have your
answer and it may be time to move on.

1

What are you ready (and able) to do differently,
starting now? This question allows a more detailed
conversation around specific changes which must be
made. Forcing an employee to generate their own
list (rather than seeking yet another agreement to your list) is
better at this stage. It shows you if they are listening, if they
understand what good work looks like, and if they care.
Answers such as "I guess I just need to do what you ask me to
do" are not good. On the heels of several performance
discussions, and this meet-me-halfway conversation, lazy or
passive responses show you do not have their attention or
commitment.

2

What can I do differently to help you succeed? If
you get an admission of some fault, and that fault is
reinforced by a thoughtful description of the ways
behaviors must change starting today, it is time to
seal the deal with a genuine offer of your help. The offer does
two things. It firms up the commitment to change and gives
you a measurement tool for the coming days/weeks.

3
4

How will we both know you are meeting
performance goals? This is the time to clarify
ultimate expectations and timelines. Performance
cannot stay at halfway; that was just a place to

"Performance cannot stay at halfway; that
was just a place to meet and recommit to
something much better. "
meet and recommit to something much better. The timeline
will depend on the performance gap, the failed efforts to
date, the perceived chance for success, and such. Whatever
that timeline and performance definition, they should both
be very clear.
Employees who know or sense their manager is dissatisfied
with their work should bring it up. "How am I doing?", "What
can I do to get better at this role?", "What do you see as the
difference between my work and the very best work done in
this area?" Make the topic of your performance a welcome
and natural one for you both. You will both benefit. z

Bruce Clarke serves as CAI's President
and CEO, and has been with CAI since 2001.
Bruce practiced labor and employment law
with the national labor law firm of Ogletree
Deakins for 18 years. He is listed in The
Best Lawyers in America and was selected
as one of North Carolina's Legal Elite by
Business North Carolina Magazine. Bruce is 100 percent
committed to helping companies maximize employee
engagement and minimize workplace liabilities. Bruce can
be reached at bruce.clarke@capital.org.

july/august 2017

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success

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Success by Association - July/August 2017

President’s Message
Event Calendar
Four Ways Managers Can Help Improve Employee Performance
Attract Millennials to Your Meeting
Address These Employee Needs for Maximum Retention
Seven Ways to Improve Panel Presentations
Growing Event Attendance Through Content: Very Useful for Associations
Thank You to our Annual Meeting Sponsors
Creating a Pocket of Excellence When Surrounded by Mediocrity
Get the Message
Member Updates
5 Reasons to Consider Live Streaming Your Next Event
Strategies for Effective Business Networking for Young Professionals
Young Leader Profile
Buyers’ Guide
Advertiser Showcase
Advertiser Index
Executive Director’s Message
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - intro
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - cover1
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - cover2
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 3
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - President’s Message
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Event Calendar
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 6
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Four Ways Managers Can Help Improve Employee Performance
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Attract Millennials to Your Meeting
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 9
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 10
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Address These Employee Needs for Maximum Retention
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Seven Ways to Improve Panel Presentations
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 13
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Growing Event Attendance Through Content: Very Useful for Associations
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 15
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Thank You to our Annual Meeting Sponsors
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 17
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Creating a Pocket of Excellence When Surrounded by Mediocrity
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 19
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Get the Message
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 21
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Member Updates
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 5 Reasons to Consider Live Streaming Your Next Event
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Strategies for Effective Business Networking for Young Professionals
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - 25
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Young Leader Profile
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Buyers’ Guide
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Advertiser Showcase
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Advertiser Index
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - Executive Director’s Message
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - cover3
Success by Association - July/August 2017 - cover4
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