In organizations where poor performers are (involuntarily) allowed to thrive, the levels of productivity and morale take deep plunges, and turnover increases. When organizations impose no checks on performance, top performers leave because they want to avoid associating with a management that tolerates mediocrity. With only mediocre employees staying on, the work culture evolves to accommodate mediocrity. This has a damaging, long-term effect on productivity and, even worse, the organization’s reputation.


Recognize the culprit. The only good thing about poor performers is that they are easily identifiable! They arrive late, leave early, miss deadlines and find excuses for their inconsistencies. Their colleagues are left to make up for their performance

Be well armed! While some organizations realize the importance of addressing this potentially damaging problem, others ignore it. Most organizations resort to firing poor performers. However, considering the costs of selection, recruiting, and training, this appears to be a costly way out.

Put a solution in place. A cost-effective alternative is to invest in ‘poor performers’. This includes training to build skills that deal with performance issues before they escalate. The need for such training stems from an analysis, which indicates that poor performers can turn around with rehabilitation.

Good managers can manage poor performers. Some managers are incapable of managing their subordinates well. Part of this inability stems from a lack of ‘poor performers’ management. Some managers make the mistake of reprimanding the entire team instead of just the employee. This hurts the morale of the top performing employees in the group. Some managers believe in confronting employees. Threatening or accusing poor performing employees eventually leads to contract termination and, in bad cases, litigious problems.

Performance improvement for managers too! Training managers to deal with poor performers will add the much-needed feather to their existing managerial skills. However, before formulating a performance management-training program, it is important to assess whether the managers require such training.

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