When an employee is underperforming what is your response? Do you make excuses? Do you hope more training will fix the problem? It’s important to understand the root cause of the underperformance—it’s either attitude or competence. If it’s attitude, the truth is you can rarely improve a poor attitude or have the person sustain lasting change without eventually going back to their old ways of acting. It is best to cut your losses and move on before the poor attitude permeates your organization. When you hold on to an employee with a poor attitude you demonstrate to the rest of your employees the acceptance of complacency and mediocrity in your organization.
Are you willing to let it be the standard for all of your employees? You may be thinking, ‘we can't find anybody better, or we don't have time to replace them because it's going to create more work’, but what would you say to another business owner if kept employees on their payroll for those reasons? If it’s a competency issue what plans have you made for additional training? Can you move them into a position that is more aligned with their skill level? Do you need to transition them out of your organization? These are tough conversations, but underperformers will undermine your success and must be dealt with sooner rather than later.
The absolute key to your business is your team. For every customer, your company is whoever they're speaking with on the phone or through email at that particular moment. Can you afford to risk a customer relationship because of an underperforming employee? Customers will go where they feel appreciated.
If you were starting your business today, how many of your current team members would you hire again?