The employee’s view on how  performance problems are dealt with
Prime the pump
September 12, 2023

The employee’s view on how performance problems are dealt with

Welcome back to our series titled “walk awhile in my shoes,” real world, gut-level messages from employees to managers. This series was inspired by the book “walk awhile in my shoes” written by Eric

Harvey and Steve Ventura.

I am the voice of the employee and today the employee is seeking to be heard “on how performance problems are dealt with” and “no win situations”.

Dealing with performance problems has got to be one of the most difficult parts of your job as a manager. You see, I am not a manager, but I have experience dealing with people’s problems and it is tough. However, when you are on the receiving end it is just as tough. That’s why I am passionate about performance problems, especially when it comes to how it is handled.

I don’t expect you to overlook my blunders, but I expect to be treated with respect. I want to be given an opportunity to share my side of the story and I want you to take all sides into consideration before you decide how I should be disciplined or even if I should be disciplined.

Sometimes I receive letters of reprimand that caught me off guard because quite often they refer to things that occurred weeks prior. When I mess up, I prefer that it is brought to my attention immediately so that I can correct my behaviour. I have been told that I exhibit an attitude sometimes when I am being reprimanded, however, how I respond is generally determined by how I am dealt with. Sometimes, in my opinion, I am spoken to like a child instead of the responsible adult that I am.

One of the things that weighs heavily on my mind is the way I am dealt with at times in comparison with how my co-workers are dealt with. I can’t help but feel that sometimes their performance issues are swept under the carpet. I am bothered by the fact that while I get chastised for trivial things, my co-workers get away with murder while management look the other way. Especially when I have to pick up the slack and shoulder their responsibilities, it makes me resentful, and my resentment is reflected in the quality and quantity of work I produced.

On the topic of “no win” situations, maybe you are thinking that you just cannot win with me. Well, I feel like I just cannot win no matter what I do too, and that is not a good feeling. There are times when I do just what was asked of me, and I still get chastised for it. For example, you sometimes ask that I use my initiative instead of waiting to be told what to do. When I do that and it turns out well, I hear nothing about it but when it turns out bad, I am chastised and reprimanded for not checking in with you first.

Sometimes, I am punished for my good performance. I go the extra mile while some of my co-workers are goofing around or just doing the bare minimum and as a result, whenever there is a difficult task to get done, it is given to me. However, if I don’t perform well on that difficult task, I am chastised for it.

While your intention toward me may be good, it doesn’t lessen the frustration that I feel. I want to perform well, and I want to be win sometimes, if I face too many “no win” situations, I will eventually get too demotivated to keep trying to win and if that happens, we both will lose.

Perhaps there are times when you feel like a “victim” of performance problems or that you cannot win.

If so, you’re not alone, try walking awhile in my shoes.


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