Tolerating Poor Performers….Why?
By Matthew G. Brandt
Simon Sinek said; “It’s downright debilitating to a high achiever. I’m working my heart out and every time I look up Donna-Do-Nothing is contemplating how long is too long take for lunch. I start wondering why leadership tolerate this.” Tolerating poor performers….why?
Poor performers are the single most destructive influence to a business, organization, sales team, police department, fire department, any department…..the SINGLE more destructive. Think about this… what other single sale, contract, acquisition, event, program whatever can cause as much harm, time lost, financial failure than one-employees impact day in and day out, on your bottom line? The easy answer is none!
So why are they so abundant in the world today? Why is it every organization has one, two, three, ten, 20? Why? Because fundamentally your first-line supervisors, your sales managers, your team leads, and mid-level managers are afraid to confront them. Simple as that.
Is It Because We are Human
Humans are living proof of thousands upon thousands of years of evolution that were created for one reason; to ensure the species survives. So, we’ve all heard about the “fight or flight” mechanism that is built into each of us. It is triggered when we need to “survive” something….back in the day it was maybe the saber tooth tiger, today it may be an attacker coming in our house. We either run and escape “to survive” or you are forced to stay and fight “to survive”….really the only choices you have in life when confronted with the option of potential death.
So why does that matter or how does that apply in this conversation about poor performers? Simple, until humans are fighting for their life, the mechanism we rely on to “fight” is really suppressed in our brains and in chemical hormones….it’s really tough for the average human to take it upon him/herself to stand up and confront someone or something when the species is not in danger of dying….
There are those of course that have no issue with it, we see them arise every once in a while, like on freeways in road rage incidents for example. But the average person does not, will not “fight” and in this instance simply confront a problem, because the species is not in danger of dying out.
How We Are Wired
Humans are wired to overlook, accept certain behaviors, ignore mounting problems until it has become so devastating to the team or organization that it is time to “fight”….and fight they will. The problem is, by then, it’s normally too late. The damage has been done, the cancer has spread, the sales have been lost. It’s a bit like amputating a leg of a perfectly good person. They are still alive, but the larger organization probably will never be the same.
Poor performers are a cancer to an organization. They don’t necessary all have to be top 10% level employees, but when they are truly a cancer in your organization it is imperative you find them early, and begin the daunting and often time-consuming road of removal.
More to come on this subject for sure! Stay tuned! Enjoy what you’re reading? Join my professional network on Linkdin for more!