BLUF: How do you motivate/coach/feedback someone who is just slow at their job?
I work in a technical environment, overseeing a group of engineers/programmers. One of my senior guys just seems to take ages to do whatever work he has to do. If I give a particular job to one of my junior high achievers, it may take 1 day to do. If I give it to this senior guy, it can take 3-4 days to do. The fact that some of the juniors are visibly outperforming this guy is causing resentment amongst them, since they are doing more for less pay than this guy.
Whenever I speak to him about time taken for jobs, he gives plenty of very good reasons/problems that he hit that was why it took so long. Yet my more junior, lower paid guys either don't hit these issues, or they hit them, work em out quickly, and continue on.
I don't think hes goofing off or anything (there was an issue with that a few months ago, but feedback and systemic feedback seems to have nipped that in the bud). My gut feeling is he's just not a good programmer - however the only metrics I have are time taken on jobs, and our jobs vary enough that you can't compare job x to job y.
Any ideas on how I should approach this? I've tried the methods in instilling a sense of urgency podcast, and he just says "Sorry, I missed the deadline due to x, y and z. Then a, b and c occurred." I don't really know what to put into a feedback model - "Bob, when you took 1 week to write this report, heres what happens, I feel let down because my gut feel was that it would take 2 days, and the customer felt let down because they didnt get their report before the weekend. What would you do differently? Ur, nothing - I wrote it as quick as I could." Or do I try coaching? I just don't know how to coach someone to be a 'better' programmer.
I've thought about being straight up. "Bob, it took you a week to do something I thought would take one day. This happens all the time. Hell, Jack who sits next to you is bitching to me about how slow you are. What the hell is wrong with you?" But I reckon that will do more harm than good.
Any suggestions? The status quo has to change, but buggered if I can think of the best way to approach it.