The first thing we need to do is define underperforming. Hiring good people or hiring people you think are gonna be great will never compensate for bad management and bad leadership. We talk to people all the time that say “If I can just make this one higher. Everything will be great.”
We’re not trying to hit a home run. One hire’s not gonna save the day and make your life easier. It’s really four singles. We gotta do things in succession. We gotta give them time to grow. We gotta nurture that growth and when we hire someone, set them up to succeed and understand what are the objectives of that.
Oftentimes when we look at an underperforming person and ask a business owner why are they underperforming, they start listing a bunch of things that aren’t being done or aren’t being done correctly. But, maybe they were hired and they didn’t have experience to do that, and then we didn’t train them.
Then we threw a bunch of extra stuff on their plate, and then we say they’re underperforming when the reality is maybe it’s us who’s underperforming as a leader. So that’s the caveat as we get into this today. So there are really two categories we’re gonna look at today in terms of underperforming employees.
#1) We could have hired the wrong person.
#2) We could have the right person, but in the wrong seat or doing the wrong job job. or the people we have could be lacking the capacity to do their job. Meaning our business may have outgrown their ability.
If we look at, we’ve hired the wrong person. What we always wanna do is maximize our probability of getting hiring right by putting in a defined and consistent process to maximize the probability of hiring the right person.
What if we have a great person who’s been in our business, but they might be in the wrong seat?
So how do we know if someone is in the wrong seat? If someone is in the wrong seat, it might be we have someone who’s a real go-getter. We hired them on potential and they’re out there, they’re doing a bunch of work for us, and hey, this person is really good.
You know, I think we should get them to do some extra work. But what we often do is when we start stacking this work onto our high performing individuals, we don’t take the time to consider that the work isn’t aligned.
That could be on us, right? That could be our mistake. So we need to go back and have a conversation with them and say, “Is it too much? Are you having a hard time with the transitions?”
So what can we do when this top leader is struggling?
And there’s a few things we can do. Number one is we can offer to get them help. You can get them a coach, but again, long tail, right? You can get them coaching, but it depends how quickly you are scaling and growing. Coaching will not scale this person up fast enough. They won’t be able to keep up with the curve, right?
Number two is you can go get someone outsourced fractionally to go and help you lead the business and help develop that person. Now that again will get the movement in the right direction.
But that’s hard to go to someone who’s been a loyal soldier and say “I need to hire you a new boss because your performance isn’t there, and I don’t think you have the tools you need, but I want to get those for you.”
This is usually someone who, you know, started off as a line line worker in our shop and they showed up every day and they’re responsible. So we promoted them to a supervisor and then they became a manager, and now they’re, you know, they’re leaving the shop, but the only experience they have is when our shop was $5 million and now we’re at 15.
And they just don’t understand what it takes to build process and procedure that will help the business scale.
We hope you enjoyed our take on how to deal with an underperforming employee. If you’re looking to boost your workforce’s capabilities and strengths – reach out to us! Schedule a free consultation with Corey at www.KeyHire.Solutions/consultation/