Don’t let poor employee performance derail you as a leader
It’s one of the most sensitive aspects of leadership: When, and how, to deal with a poor performer. It’s especially sensitive if that poor performer is a good person and loyal employee who means well but is in over his or her head.
Too many of us tolerate subpar performance for far too long. We rationalize that dealing with the existing employee is easier than hiring and training a new person. Or we’re just plain chicken to fire someone with whom we have a longstanding professional relationship. (It’s even harder if this person is also a friend or—gulp—family member.)
The truth: Tolerating poor performance doesn’t just cost the company money and productivity. It also reflects poorly on you as a leader.
When other team members see you tolerate poor performance, they have no motivation to step up their game. You haven’t just accommodated one person: you’ve cultivated an entire culture of low expectations.
Frankly, you also look weak. Harsh, but true. You can be a strong, firm leader without being a tyrant. The most effective leaders set high expectations and then provide the support, infrastructure, and tools to help people reach and exceed those expectations.
What kind of leader are you today? What kind of leader can you be?