Poor Performers: Improve or Remove

Chaotic times breed new trends. They always have. They always will. New strategies must be attempted in hopes of reversing negative situations resulting from political, financial, and business influences.

Many of these new trends are very basic in nature while others appear somewhat radical compared to what we have known in the past.

One such trend is emerging from coast to coast across industries. It deals with employees performing below accepted levels. In the past, poor performers were often tolerated for far too long for a wide variety of reasons … seniority, negative image, personal relationships, hope for improvement, legal ramifications, etc.

However, recent local and global pressures have reversed this archaic practice in hopes of increasing productivity and profitability at a time when nothing less can be accepted.

Leadership guru Peter Drucker has long suggested: “If you have a ‘people’ problem, fix it immediately. If you do not have the right person for the right job to begin with, trying to eliminate other job-related barriers is like trying to drain the Atlantic Ocean with a teaspoon.”

Author and CEO Harvey Mackay has learned through many years of experience that “It isn’t the people you fire who make our life miserable, it’s the people you don’t.”

Business consultant, best-selling author (Built to Last and Good to Great ), and lecturer Jim Collins says: “We expected that good-to-great leaders would begin by setting a new vision and strategy. We found instead that they first got the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats—and then they figured out where to drive it. The old adage ‘People are your most important asset’ turns out to be wrong. People are not your most important asset. The right people are.”

Leading authorities agree that the focus of loyalty has changed from the poor performer to those fellow employees who are performing well, customers, and any other stakeholders. The obligation today lies in doing everything possible to improve performance including training, enhancement strategies, expectations, accountability, and consequences. If and when these attempts fail, removal of the poor performer is essential to future success.

Many organizations have avoided having to take such unpleasant actions by perfecting their approach to recruiting, hiring, orientation, and continuous training.

About Harry K. Jones

Harry K. Jones is a motivational speaker and consultant for AchieveMax®, Inc., a company of professional speakers who provide custom-designed seminars, keynote presentations, and consulting services. Harry's top requested topics include change management, customer service, creativity, employee retention, goal setting, leadership, stress management, teamwork, and time management. For more information on Harry's presentations, please call 800-886-2629 or fill out our contact form.

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