Are You Covering Up For Weak Performance?

Some managers fall into the trap of stepping in and bailing out their lower performing employees. If certain staff members are not doing their jobs satisfactorily, a knee-jerk reaction is to jump in and do it yourself.

This isn’t a good idea. Not only do people not want to be micromanaged, snatching work from them (because you’ll meet the deadline or think you can do it better) is demoralizing. Over time, they will think, “Why bother? The work will never be good enough for my boss and she’ll just do it anyway.”

Your employees don’t learn from this and eventually they lose motivation to do their jobs at the level you expect.

Moreover, when you’re focused on doing their work, you neglect your own work. So, here’s what you have: people who aren’t doing their work, you’re doing their work, and not doing yours.

Sounds like a lose-lose proposition, doesn’t it?

Here are some things to consider as you troubleshoot these situations with your lower performing employees:

Training. These employees may know the basics, but the nuances are what may make the ultimate difference in a job being done well. If they lack the nuances, assign a mentor to help. This isn’t a “one and done” task; it takes time to learn and master the nuances.

Is this the right job? The employee may be intelligent and eager, but you sense that something is missing. Ultimately the answer may be that you have a good person working in the wrong job. Think about how you can more effectively assess this employee’s skills and move him or her into another position.

Attitude and work ethic. Good news, bad news, the same news: attitude and work ethic can be taught (sort of), but if the person isn’t intrinsically motivated to have a great attitude and work ethic there isn’t much you can do. A bad attitude not only influences that person’s work, but it can be contagious to those nearby.

The bottom line is that you need to fix the source of why someone isn’t producing effectively, not covering it up by doing it for them. Yes, this takes much longer than just doing it yourself. Unfortunately, after diagnosing and applying these suggestions, if they aren’t doing the job, you need to consider exiting them.

Header image by Karolina Grabowska/Pexels.

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