All managers are going to deal with someone who just isn't performing well at work at some point in their careers. It can be tempting to put off having a difficult conversation about someone's performance and hope that things will improve naturally.
Unfortunately, leaving improvement to chance is very high risk. Dealing quickly and effectively with poor performance at work is crucial.
Here's why you need to tackle your underperforming team members right away:
He or she is costing you money – more than you might think
A poor performer may be losing you customers, taking too long to complete work, making mistakes that others have to correct, or just not being productive enough. All of this costs money and time, and can lose credibility for your organisation or team.
The weak performer is dragging everyone else down
Some people on your team are going to be more talented or hardworking than others. They will get more work done, and do better work. That's going to happen everywhere. But, if your best performers see that someone on the team doesn't work hard, and isn't getting results, it can sap their energy and enthusiasm. If doing a bad job has no consequences, your best people will become demotivated.
They are wasting the time and energy of managers
Any manager will tell you they spend 80% of their time managing 20% of their people. It's the one or two difficult people or poor performers that are taking all the energy and time of the manager. Managers need to be encouraged to develop skills that will nip problems in the bud. Otherwise the time they could spend encouraging, coaching and developing their top talent will be spent fixing the problems caused by their least productive team members.
Everyone has the potential to improve
Most of us will have blips in our ability to do well at work from time to time. A good manager will offer the right support, motivation and clarity about expectations to help their people get back on track. Doing badly at work is depressing and stressful, so if you've got someone on your team who is struggling, tackling the issue head on will be enormously helpful.
Need some help?
We cover how to deal with someone who isn't performing well at work on our New Manager Bootcamp course and we've got some free resources on how to conduct a the kind of conversations you need to have to improve performance.