Five Steps for Dealing With Consistently Low Performers


“I supervise a consistently low performer,” a manager said to me.

“For how long?” I asked.

“Since I assumed leadership.  About ten months ago.  I’ve tried everything.  He is just not reliable.”

“Are you sure the employee has been properly trained?”

“Yes.  I have personally reviewed the training a couple of times.”

Here are five steps for dealing with consistently low performers:

1. Check to see if you can modify the employee’s job tasks.

2. Nag the employee with reminders, checklists and 1:1 status reports.

3. Put the employee on a performance improvement plan.

4. Tolerate the low performance and quit worrying about it.

5. Work with your human resources’ partner to terminate the employee.

When you complete Steps 1-3, you have fulfilled your responsibilities as a leader.  And if the low performance is disruptive to your team’s performance, you should move to Step 5.  The inability to consistently perform tasks in almost all cases is due to lack of talent and not lack of motivation.

Talent is the inherited ability to consistently and to reliably perform tasks and you cannot teach talent. Employees who are ill equipped to perform their job tasks have little or no upside, and you do them no favors by allowing them to remain in their positions.

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.