Managing Poor Performers

How many times have you decided to tackle a poor performer just to be overruled so that they can be moved onto to another department?

In my experience tackling a poor performer takes time and energy. In the current working climate two commodities that are in extremely short supply.

It takes time to reflect back performance to the individual in question. It takes time and evidence to take someone out of denial, especially if none of their previous managers has tackled them in the past.

Shock horror why wouldn’t they!

I don’t condone managers shying away from tackling poor performers. It’s tough. It needs to be managed with tack, empathy, evidence, together with a solution for change, be it hard or soft skills training, mentorship and ongoing feedback.

But what if you aren’t supported in implementing this approach?

However much I believe in developing people to be the best they can be because I believe that is an important part of my role as a people manager; however much time I have devoted to managing a poor performer; sometimes I have had to reverse my assessment and this has been on more than one occasion.

The reason?

Because someone with a less than good performance will not be accepted into another area within the organisation!

This could make me feel ineffective as a performance manager, but it doesn’t. I still advocate helping people to be the best they can be. The poor performer will still have their feedback and will still have their development plan. They will have become more self-aware too and be motivated to improve in the areas they choose to improve.

The one drawback? Will the new department support them in their personal growth?

If they don’t have I failed? Has the poor performer failed? No.

The organisation has failed.

How do you ensure that this doesn’t happen within your organisation?

I would also love to ask DOES this happen within your organisation but I’m not sure whether I’d get any feedback.


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