The High Costs of Under Performers

The High Costs of Under Performers

Do Not Underestimate The High Costs of Under Performers
Too many managers underestimate the high cost of under performers.  For managers taking on a leadership role for the first time, their major concern is whether the team will “like” and “follow” them. First-time managers often mistakenly think that if the team members think they are “nice,” the team will be more engaged and productive.

And “nice” means a manager that does not rock the boat or enforce consequences for under-performance…especially for those team members who are well-liked or have been around a long time. What these new managers don’t recognize in their naiveté are the costs of holding on to team members who lag behind in the race.

Go Slow to Go Fast
New manager training talks about going slow before going fast, and this is good advice. New supervisors should get the lay of the land before making big decisions and taking major steps for change.

1. Get to Know Your Team
Learn what makes people on your team tick…what motivates and drives them as well as what they most like to do and consistently do best. Take advantage of their strengths and mitigate their weaknesses. Employees who are well-matched to their job roles “like” their situation and are more likely to be happily engaged in their work.

And higher levels of employee engagement directly correlate to higher levels of employee advocacy, discretionary effort and retention.

2. Assess Individual Performance
Every team has its top talent; and every team has its substandard performers. Even under performers often have strengths.  Your job as a new leader is to create the environment that gets the most out of your team.

Because of the high cost of under performers culturally and financially, you need to:

  • Set clear performance expectations
  • Define meaningful rewards and consequences
  • Identify why some are under-performing
  • Take immediate steps (i.e.. coaching, training, support, work allocation) to help them improve

3. Re-assess Under Performers Who Continue to Struggle
If after 90-days there has been little effort made, no real improvement or no commitment to do better in spite of the improvement plan, under-performers need to be compassionately moved elsewhere…either to a better suited position in the company or out.

The High Costs of Under Performers
If leaders overlook poor performance, the company suffers in two ways:

  • Internal Consequences
    Poor performers drag down the motivation and commitment of workers who perform at or above the agreed-upon performance and behavior standards. The motivation and commitment to excellence take a hit across the board. As under-performance is ignored, high performers are liable to leave or decrease performance.
  • External Consequences
    The reputation of your company is at risk when you are represented by employees who are inferior or misaligned culturally. You risk losing customers and advocates as they witness the deterioration of the quality of your workforce.

The Bottom Line
As a manager you must honestly appraise the quality of your workers and face the negative implications of avoiding your responsibility to deal effectively with under-performers. The high cost of under performers should not be ignored.

To learn more about being a high performance manager, download 3 Must Have Ingredients for High Performing Teams

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