As leaders, we should create an environment where people come to work every day to prove themselves over and over again. No one gets paid to budget their efforts or pace themselves. That is easier said than done, I know this very painfully. Too many compromises, too many hanger-oners, too many lack of performers.

Through the years , I have learned some truths that may help in declaring a war on poor performance.

  • Evaluate your roster and ask yourself whether you would re-hire your people. If not, it’s time to exercise what is referred to as the Three T’s to turn things around:
    train, transfer, or terminate. 
  • Identify which poor performers are diminishing your standards.
  • Be aware that keeping the wrong people impacts the good ones (they are having water cooler discussions on why you are keeping them).
  • Care enough to confront the poor performers when they are off-track. Delays may come back to bite you. I have been there.
  • Also, be aware of the good performers who seem to be violating core values. They must be confronted, and you must have a zero tolerance policy.

Remember, you will lose the respect of the best when you don’t deal effectively with the worst.