Recognising that different people perform differently in your workplace is a normal part of any business. Performance can depend on (i) ability (ii) experience and/or (iii) training. While some staff may have a lower “output” level than others, they may still be performing to his or her ability. But what happens when you start to see performance dropping and the cause is not down to one of these three factors?
Low performance might instead be due to laziness, bad attitude or lack of accountability – which in turn can have a really negative impact on your business. As well as this, low performers can take up an inordinate amount of management time, creating negativity in the team and having an overall negative effect in the workplace.
Effects of Low Performers
In contrast high performing individuals make major contributions but are typically few in number. Medium level performers often make up most of the team. Low performers can be few in number but will have a strong, negative impact on the team. They can decrease morale, influence others to work less and limit the ultimate potential of the entire team to develop and grow as a collective unit.
One way to deal with low performance is to find it, work to improve it or outright remove it from the workplace. One strategy to help prevent low performance is to use a variety of accountability tools, such as a good review system, maintaining “Contracts of Expectations” (What, by whom by when?), clarifying roles and responsibilities, and using Team Agreements. All of these methods can help prevent low performance in individuals or reveal it when it exists so that it can be treated appropriately.