Employee Performance Management Technique ... When Capability and Desire Clash

Here's a performance management technique that will enable you to identify why a person doesn't perform the task required and/or to the standard needed.

There are a myriad of reasons why people under-perform. However, they generally fall into two categories. The first is a lack of desire. The second is a lack of capability.

employee performance management technique

Someone may have all the capability in the world but have limited or no desire to perform a particular task/role. For example, I can type at 100 wpm, but don't ask me to be a secretary (did that when I first got out of school). You would find yourself with an employee who would be constantly shirking work and generally being a pain in the neck.

Alternatively, some may have all the desire in the world, but have limited or no capability. I'd love to compete at the Olympics in dressage - but do not have the capability of a world-class dressage rider.

So even though I'd be there front and center every day with my tail wagging like a puppy dog, I'd be continually letting my team down with may lack of ability.

Certainly I have the capability to improve my standard as a rider, but it will come at a huge cost. A cost to me personally in terms of stress and a cost to the team in having to carry someone who isn't at the level required by the team.

The strengths movement is one of the most exciting developments in the past few decades. Understanding people's strengths and ensuring they are used on a regular basis, while understanding their weaknesses and putting in systems/strategies that enable them to be worked around, will help your team to perform at a higher level. Read more about tapping into people's strengths.

When someone is under-performing you need to establish whether you have a capability ('Can't Do' but 'Want To') or a desire ('Can Do' but 'Won't do') issue, in order to effectively resolve the problem.

The tool below helps you determine a person's performance level and the style of leadership you might use to help them to improve.

The first step is to list the tasks/outcomes you require of a particular team member then make an assessment using this scale:

Capability Desire

You must be clear on which type of issue you are facing. Because if you try to improve someone's performance level through enhancing their skillset when they actually just don't want to do it ... you'll fail miserably. In the Execution Plan "Successful Feedback"you'll discover how to clearly differentiate between a desire and an ability problem and how to capably deal with each.

Leave A Comment

Have your say about what you just read! Leave a comment in the box below.