Posted: July 10, 2019
The strength of any business is the people who work for you. You can have the best strategies, the best products, the best services, the best premises—but without the best employees, your enterprise is going nowhere.
But what about the other side of the coin? After you’ve found the people who you think are going to be able to bring your business to the next level, you also need to face an even tougher task: removing the weak links in your system.
We’re here to put that challenge to rest with this one simple guide to weeding out underperformers. Read on to discover one easy solution that will make your business better.
DEALING WITH AN UNDERPERFORMING EMPLOYEE
We’ve all been there: someone you employ isn’t pulling their weight. They are either slacking off, their skillset isn’t good enough (and never will be), or there’s some other factor that is resulting in their inability to meet the standards you expect. Regardless of the reasons, you know that you need to remove them: but simply firing an employee, depending on your industry, can be a very difficult task to achieve.
However, the reality is that this line of thinking shows that you’re going about it the wrong way. It isn’t only up to you as the business owner to free up the futures of underperforming employees. It isn’t just the job of your human resource manager either. It all comes down to two factors: accountability and visibility.
WHY IS VISIBLE ACCOUNTABILITY IMPORTANT?
Accountability is based around the idea that everybody in your enterprise needs to be responsible for a small number of broad metrics. Not lag metrics like sales figures, but leading metrics like numbers of sales calls or conversion rates for the website—activities that can be adjusted today, rather than numbers that reflect what you’ve done in the past. Make sure each of your employees knows they are responsible for one, two or three of these metrics, and their role within your business becomes not only clearer to you, but to them as well.
This is where visibility comes in. Accountability is useful, but visibility is what makes it effective. No matter how accountable someone is for a particular metric, they will never feel like they ‘own’ it until their performance is widely visible. If someone’s standards are slipping, and they know they are being observed by their colleagues and their superiors, they will go to additional lengths in order to buck themselves back up over that line. It’s simple psychology.
HOW DOES THIS WORK WITH YOUR EMPLOYEES?
How does this play into weeding out a weak employee? Here’s the magic of visible accountability: it’s self-organising. Rather than requiring you to take an employee aside and speak to them directly about their underperformance, their lack of progress is evident for all to see. They know the standard they are being held to, and if they can’t perform to that standard, they may very well decide that this particular role isn’t working out for them at all. They may end up freeing up their own futures when they realise that they are dragging their team down.
This is why having a few simple metrics and visible accountability in your strategy execution is so important. It doesn’t just let people know what the standards are—it also lets them know when they are slipping, or when they can’t keep up. It allows for clarity of purpose—and when that purpose isn’t being achieved, then it’s time for that employee to look for employment elsewhere. If you want a world-class team, there’s no room for weak links.