Succeeding with the Bottom 10%
Every organization has a bottom 10% of employees, leaders, and managers who perform poorly.
Your goal, if you can’t remove the bottom 10% is to maximize the situation.
7 reasons for poor performance:
- Negative environments where managers are dictatorial, disconnected, or incompetent.
- Leadership that tolerates poor performers.
- No honor for high performers. Organizations that give across the board raises encourage poor performance.
- Lack of connection with colleagues.
- Lack of commitment to do well.
- Talent or skill deficit.
- Distraction because of personal issues.
Succeeding with the bottom 10%:
- Address it; don’t ignore it. In many ways, leaders get what they tolerate. Successful leaders address issues others ignore.
- Commit to building an environment that promotes and honors high achievement.
- Encourage and participate in fun.
- Keep working to develop everyone on your team, including the bottom 10%. Don’t give yourself an easy out. Keep searching for their performance triggers.
- Remember to see the good. Bad is stronger than good. Poor performance in one area my blind managers to good performance in another. The bad obscures the good.
- Eliminate negative impact. One poor performing team member has an inordinately powerful negative impact.
- Protect high performers from low performers.
- Give low priority assignments to the bottom 10%
- Put all low performers on the same team. Who knows, they may do something remarkable? Distributing poor performers throughout your organization is like sprinkling poison sprinkles on ice cream.
- Keep them away from your “A” players. (Connected to #4, but I need to say it.)
- Establish higher oversight.
- Establish consequences.
- Find an assignment that better matches their passion, skills, and talent.
- Spend more time with high performers than poor.
- Use them to make you a better leader. Keep asking yourself, “What am I learning.”
Don’t feel bad if you’re dealing with poor performers. There’s always a bottom 10%.
What are some reasons for poor performance? (Legitimate or not.)
How might leaders deal with the bottom 10%?