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Dad reading toddler a story

Who stopped you from reading your kids a bedtime story last night?

Do you spend a lot of time and energy covering up for underperforming staff in your team?

According to an article by Dr Nikos Bozionelos, the answer is yes! In this article he explains what the cost of poor employee performance can be.

What else would you rather be focusing on?

Spending more time growing your business or having more of a home life perhaps…?

If you are wondering why you are never home in time to tuck your kids into bed, it could be due to people we call:

“Silent” underperformers

These are underperforming staff that aren’t necessarily disruptive but regularly fail to meet agreed targets and consistently require extra management attention.

Often they can keep their head down and avoid confrontation, but…

That isn’t to say that they are not noticed.

They are noticed,

You have noticed them and most certainly their colleagues have noticed!

And their underperforming can cause resentment, that they get to fly under the radar, while you and the rest of your team have to work extra hard to make up the difference.

There can be many reasons why we allow this situation to continue.

Sometimes it is simply because we don’t know how best to deal with it.

Or it could be that we fear that the fall out of dealing with the situation will feel worse that just sweeping it under the carpet.

Inertia can be a most persuasive mistress.

Like living in a bad marriage, many people stay in an uncomfortable work situation because the fear of change is worse than the actual change itself.

But simply tolerating an unproductive relationship at work drains us of energy.

If you find that more of your energy is spent on dealing with the failings of a 'silent underperformer', then you need to ask yourself…

How long will you let this go on for?

How much time are you channeling into protecting your underperforming staff when you could be spending time with your family?

How to deal with 'Silent Underperformers':

While each situation is different, you could consider taking one or more of the following actions:

1) Deal with it ASAP

Decide to take action.

Doing nothing isn’t really an option long term.

Like pulling off a sticking plaster, the quicker you make it happen, the less time it hurts for and the quicker things get better.

Think of the rest of your team.  The quicker you deal with it, the quicker you will start to raise staff morale and happier staff are much more productive.

2) Start Talking

Gather as much information from one or two of your most trusted colleagues.

Understanding the impact your underperforming staff is having on the business.

Giving you the impetus to take the first step.

Even one Silent Underperformer can reduce the performance of your whole team by 30-40% according to the Wall Street Journal.

3) Get Professional Advice

Knowing what to do next, or even what your options are can really help you get things moving.  It can make a real difference when you feel safe in the knowledge that you are not about to infringe  employment legislation.

Arranging a call or a meeting to share what is on your mind can help reduce your stress and will identify the most effective next steps in fixing the situation with your ‘silent underperformer’.

Taking action on any one of the above three steps will act as a catalyst for change that will aid the growth of your business over the longer term and get you home in time to read those bedtime stories.

If you think you have a silent underperformer in your team or if you are unsure, ask us about our test to help you decide if some action needs to be taken.

Thank you for reading.

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Tracy Green
Tracey Murphy
Managing Director
01772 914085
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Published on: 24th February 2017
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