We’ve all had at least one person on our team who is simply not measuring up to where they should.
We can use the old cliché of “Hire slow. Fire fast.”
That’s easy to say when things are going fine, but much harder to apply when you’re in the middle of the issue.
The challenge is simple — you’re dealing with a human being, and as a result, the outcomes are not always what you expected. What should you do?
Ask yourself these four questions:
1. Are they underperforming due to their attitude or skill?
You can’t train attitude, but you can train skill. I’m much more likely to spend time with a person who has a skill deficiency, assuming I can help them overcome it.
The person with the attitude problem is another story. They either have to change it or they have to leave. You can’t have a grey area, as it will become a toxic poison to the entire team.
2. Does the low-performer know they are not meeting standards and do they have a clear understanding of what they need to do?
Too many times, I see low-performers who are clueless due to their manager not being clear enough on expectations.
3. Does the underachiever have a clear development plan with specific actions, timeline and knowledge of how it will be measured?
Key is to not overload the underachiever with a 10-page development plan. Keep it tight and focused. You’ll achieve far better results by having the person focus on one key item at a time.
Not only will they be able to better understand what to do, they will also begin to build their confidence with incremental successes.
4. Are you spending the proper amount of time with them and are there other people you need to have assisting?
Don’t think you need to do all the coaching yourself. You don’t, but you do need to be actively engaged and own the process. Use others to support you — asking a top performer to mentor them can be a huge win for everyone.
Also, as a manager, seek the resources that will better equip you to move the underachiever in the right direction.
Good news! I have a resource you won’t want to miss on June 25.
Jill Konrath, Mike Weinberg, Dan Enthoven, Miles Austin (great friends of mine) and I are going to be doing battle on how to manage an underachiever on your sales team.
We will be having a “round the internet” video event.
How to Manage Underachievers on Your Sales Team
June 25 at 2 pm EASTERN
You’ll get some very candid viewpoints from each of us. We may not all agree, but I am confident you will pick up some valuable insights that you can then apply to your specific situation.
Don’t forget to sign up! It’s free!
Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.