Poor performers can’t be ignored
Common symptoms of a poor performer:
- Does not get the results you expect.
- Stretches the truth and conveniently leaves out important details.
- Is at odds with others.
- Makes many mistakes.
- Constantly seems distracted.
- Drains more of your energy than your other employees.
Here are some quick suggestions when:
- Employee expectations are out of alignment. Clarify responsibilities. Highlight the results you expect from them. Ask questions to identify gaps and ensure they clearly understand what is expected of them.
- Employee is faking it. Call them out. The employee at some level knows they are faking it. Encourage them to do some reflective thinking. Self-examination doesn’t come naturally to most. Sometimes it can be downright uncomfortable. Guide them to draw their own conclusions.
- Employee is frequently fighting with others. Take action–before it’s too late. Conflict doesn’t ‘go away’ all by itself. Leaders who avoid conflict always regret it later. Managing conflict can be tricky, and how you deal with it has the potential to define your leadership. More importantly, it will ultimately reveal who you are as a person and the values you stand for.
- Employee lacks knowledge. Get them trained. Assign another employee as a mentor. Identify self-training material they can complete at their own pace. Encourage them to build a learning library. Where appropriate, invest in some external education and support. Coaching and developing your team are essential leadership tools for achieving business results.
- Employee is distracted by personal problems. Tread carefully. Despite your best intentions to remain uninvolved, it’s almost impossible not to pick up on an employee’s personal problems. Can you help them help themselves? Maybe all that is required is to lend a supportive ear or provide an introduction to other resources that might help them with whatever problem they’re experiencing.
- Employee is the wrong player in the wrong position. Change their role. Some employees are just not suited for the job you have them in. If they are a valuable asset to your business, but simply in the wrong job, you have a responsibility to see if there is a better fitting job for them. If this is not feasible, you may be faced with terminating them.
Managing poor performance is never easy. While this leadership skill may take years to develop, every employee can be managed–either to improve their behavior and performance, or to move on from the company. Regardless, you have a responsibility to coach them sooner, rather than later, to minimize their impact on the the rest of the team.
Do you have a performance challenge? Want to discuss your specific situation? Contact me and we can schedule time.