I’ve never seen an underperforming employee who is being led by a great leader. In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins, talks about this concept of the bus, right. And having people in the right seats on the bus. I get that. But too often inexperienced leaders, after they bring someone on and find out that the person is not able to perform in the role, they just want to fire them so they can move on and start that process over again. For me, that’s kind of crazy. You know? It’s like with my nine year old, I’m not going to put him up for adoption just because he was misbehaving today. And if we take firing an underperforming employee off the table, the question then is, what would we do differently?
Clear Expectations and Employee Accountability
What I found is that when someone is not successful in their role, it’s typically the result of one of two things. One is, we have not set crystal clear expectations. More specifically, that person doesn’t have the training or the equipment to do the job. Number two is, we are not practicing consistent and employee accountability. Meaning, we are not following up consistently enough to ensure that they’re making the changes immediately in order to bring them in line with the expectation. But if leaders spend the time focusing on those things, what they’ll find is that that person will perform, they will become successful. And if not, in all likelihood, they’ll say, I don’t think this is the right job for me. And the last thing I want to do is keep someone in a role which they don’t want or which they’ll never find success in. And so if we consistently apply those principles of setting crystal clear expectations and practicing employee accountability. We will see our people succeed, or through that accountability process they might decide, it’s not the job for me.