As we have covered recently, one of today’s leading and most costly challenges for leaders and teams is the plight of the under performer. A problem employee can range anywhere from the not so serious, such as someone who is chronically late for work each day; to the more serious, such as a person engaged in harassment of a colleague.

We know that problem employees need to be managed carefully. Sometimes, the issues are small and can be resolved quickly; in other instances, more serious intervention may be necessary.

While there is no one-size fits “fix” for all teams and company’s with team performance issues, there are a few things to consider as a first response to root out poor performers on your team.

 

  1. Set clear expectations and deliverables. Keep in mind that you are spending a lot of time daily managing this person on your team. Place the responsibility of the follow-up and performance reporting on the employee. This will show you their ability to implement change and commitment to accountability.
    Remember to set short term goals. It’s in alignment with the “Small-Wins” approach to leading a team. This gives the employee a more realistic goal with a shorter duration to complete. Ultimately, raising their self efficacy which promotes productivity.
  2. Look into the development process for your team. We want to create a proactive environment to ensure that you have the right people in the right positions. Often, your under performer is just in the wrong position and nobody wants to admit the obvious.
  3. Take a look in the mirror. It’s time to review YOU as the manager to see what you may be contributing to create a co-dependent work environment. Also, it’s necessary to take a hard look at your own decision making process. There are managers that keep people in place because it seems easier than having to let go of what’s not working, and then to invest in hiring the right fit and train for success from the start.
  4. Overhaul your hiring process. Yes, it is about making the right choice before they are on the team. I like to think of it this way, be slow to hire and quick to fire. One of the leading causes for employee turnover is poor job match from the start. Organize your hiring system with the same levels of effort and thought you put into your best marketing plans or other business development processes.

Of course, there are many other ways to improve your team’s performance and to expose the under performer that is costing you a lot of money. And this is a good list to tackle out of the gate that will prove rewarding in a rather short amount of time. But remember, having the right people in the right positions are your most important asset, now it’s time to act like it.