Poor Performers Hurt the Team

It is an all too common that when the business unit has a losing record on a number of important assignments to hope things will get better. Certainly, the manager will want to evaluate cause and effect.  There may be training needs or mentoring to be done to bring weaker performers up to standards. The project planning process may need to be reviewed. The clarity of the over-all objectives may need to be expanded and tightened up.  But if the real cause is a poor supervisor or employee, the successful manager must confront this directly.

Granted, the Employment Laws and Company HR policies can not be ignored.  The manager must follow the rules regarding performance management or severance.  That said, many times you will find the manager does not even take the first approved steps.  They either hope the employee will get better or just avoid giving that person important assignments.  Bad form!  At an absolute minimum, the manager needs to initiate these steps:

2 Key Steps to Improving Performance

  1. Meet with the poor performer as soon after the issue is uncovered.  Candidly layout what did not go according to expectation and at a minimum make it clear that this type of “performance/behavior” is not acceptable. Implement whatever intervention is required.
  2. If the performance is more critical or a repetition of what has occurred before, take the step to issue a written warning as outlined by your companies policy.  Indicate that the written warning serves to highlight the importance you place on getting the problem fixed and that it will be used as a development outline. Tell the employee your goal is to help them get better.

Don’t ignore any performance problem.  Deal with it directly.  The employee and the team will be better for it.  Avoid at all costs what I call the “Empty Personnel File.”  Don’t let another manager who ends up with the poor performer do so without the full knowledge of past problems. If you do, you are letting your lack of actions with the poor performer become another manager’s problem.  Sooner or later it will come back to haunt you and your reputation will be tarnished.


Featured Image at Pixabay / CC BY CCO


Michael D. Moore is the publisher of Management By Delegation and is a veteran executive with 40+ years in the Banking and Insurance Industries. A devoted entrepreneur, using his business experience to provide resources for managers and leaders at all levels. For the last 5 years, he has built a growing web presence for helping people with personal and professional development. To learn more about these advanced concepts & join our group Click here 5 Must Have Management Skills

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