Hi, this is Jody Ann Johnson with ActionCOACH business coaching in Miami. And here’s another episode of Coffee with Jody. In this video, I’m going to share with you about the impact of underperforming employees and the why, how and what you can do about it.
So first of all, let me tell you a story. We had a big crisis time crunch for production that needed to get done, and the team was rallying around it. One of the employees who we hired about six months ago was just kind of slowly going through the motions, while everyone else was up to speed. The manager was absolutely frustrated and annoyed as he could possibly be. So we’re looking out why is this employee, who when we first hired was great, bright and actually overeducated (which may be the starting place), wasn’t really right for the role. He had no experience in what it was he was hired for, but he was good natured and we thought we give them a try.
When you look at this situation, how does it go from six months ago being great, to now being somebody who’s just going through the motions? As I mentioned, he was overqualified for the job and although we can go into all kinds of things with him, like, do you really want to do better, and do you want to get promoted, and do you want to do something else in this business, the last thing you should do is underperform. But we can’t make a difference with him directly.
What we can do is look at what you as a business owner or manager can do about situations like this. So why? The first, as I said, hiring the wrong person for the wrong role. The second thing is, does he have clear expectations of the role? Have we made it crystal clear for him and given him the key performance indicators and targets? The next thing we can look at is do we have a meeting rhythm, where we can actually be assessing where things are and how he’s doing related to the other people on the team? So you start to see aside from the recruitment aspect. We also are looking at operations and what we as business owners have or don’t have in place in order to be telling somebody where they are in terms of our expectations, that we can go back and look at, what is the actual morale on the team? Is this guy being treated badly because he doesn’t really know what he’s doing and the rest of the people do and they’re kind of annoyed with him and all his questions? So that’s kind of a form of people bullying the newest kid on the block, rather than bringing him in and having him win. Additionally, what’s our onboarding and training program? Have we looked at what is it that this person needs to know and created an actual plan of action, and made sure that he caught that? Then, we can look at all this and say: OK, if we haven’t done any of those things, how can we possibly expect him to be able to perform? We can’t. It’s not fair.
If we put all of those things in and he still continues to underperform, then we’ve got to be prepared to take the action of letting him go, because during this crunch time the morale on the rest of the team was awful. They were so annoyed that they were having to carry more than their own weight, with his work that wasn’t getting done. And in the end, yes, the job got done, but it was so stressful.
So for you as an owner, first thing to look at is: even if we have a big strong immediate need, every time that we hire the wrong person into the wrong role, it will bite us on the ass, inevitably every time. Secondly, make sure that person has clear expectations of what they are supposed to do in that job, and how they’re going to be measured. Make sure that we have an onboarding process and a training process, and that we’ve indoctrinated them into the culture and made sure that they would have somebody who was going to be their champion and situate that they won.
So those are some things to consider outside of whether or not he should underperform or move like slow molasses or whatever, from our side it’s always a leadership issue. What can we provide to make the difference in an underperforming employee?
If you like this video, then like me on Facebook, share it, subscribe to the YouTube channel and let me know if you had situations like this and how you resolved them. Or if you’d like to ask me what my thoughts are about a particular incidence, be sure to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call to make an appointment: 305-984-2414; this is my cell. The office number is 305-285-9264.