Lack of competence/skill

Lack of competence/skill

Performance Issue – Lack of competence/skill. Typically the employee is trying to do the right thing but lacks the skill or experience to do it.

Solution – Retraining / Upskilling

Retraining or up skilling is appropriate when an employee’s performance problem appears to be caused by a lack of of knowledge or skill. Use the Performance Coaching conversation to agree an action plan to build the competence/skill required. Before agreeing an action plan make sure you have fully diagnosed the training need. It may be only a subset of the overall competence/skill needs to be improved (e.g. reversing rather than driving as a whole). Also, ask about their best learning style and, if possible, adapt training to that style. Did the Learning and Development team involved to help with diagnosis or solutions.

Some ideas you might employ to build competence include:
  • Shadow an expert – assign an expert ‘buddy’ or ‘coach’ to; show, watch, discuss, watch, discuss etc.
  • Reading / self study – help by making the right materials available.
  • Set or review problems, cases etc that create opportunities for ‘practice’ – and debrief afterwards to tune learning.
  • Demonstrate the task, beginning with simple steps and moving to the more complex.
  • Identify a training course.
  • Help the employee join an e-community where knowledge in the ‘gap’ areas is shared.
  • Give positive reinforcement – Avoid criticism or reprimand.
  • Follow up with frequent, supportive performance checks, and follow up issues quickly. 

In some situations, retraining will involve a more in-depth approach and may include attending a refresher course or participating in an on-going study program.

Continued poor performance should result in use of a formal PIP or Disciplinary Action.