Posts Tagged ‘role’

Performance Procrastination

by Guy Ralfe on May 19, 2010

We have all been in that situation where there is someone that is not pulling their weight, which places a constraint on the group’s overall performance. We often like them as people but not as much their performance, but we humbly tell ourselves things like “rather the devil we know than the devil we don’t” or “it would be too much of a disruption to replace them now”

To share a recent event, we hired a support staff that was pleasant and capable of most of the tasks required of the role but just not able to grasp the importance and flows of the business. What resulted was them performing the tasks they understood and all the things they struggled with were reassumed by those that were performing the tasks before their hire.

From a management perspective, some components of the operation were running smoother as there was a dedicated resource working the admin function; however from an operational perspective we had increased our operational overhead without increasing our service delivery to the clients which was the core objective of the hire.

After more than 4 weeks of training, the employee resigned. We wondered where we were going to find another employee and the loss suddenly felt enormous considering the investment to educate the recruit. Time to start again…

A quick search of craigslist.org produced a resume, a quick call the following day had the interview  and hire conducted before  noon. The following morning the replacement employee began – a mere 48 hrs and a new employee was in training. Within a week the replacement employee is competent at all the required tasks and adding depth to the operation in areas not considered possible with the earlier recruits.

To our clients there is a noticeable improvement, to the operations staff a confidence that the back office will be taken care of and a new capacity to produce has been facilitated – exactly the original objective of the hire.

On the flip side, do not forget that if the employee is not able to perform, they will know it and it will also be producing a stress for them always being behind or not knowing if their position is secure or not.

In these situations it is both beneficial to the organization and the employee  for the employee to be  relocated or replaced. The longer you procrastinate taking action, the more the focus is on the cost incurred as opposed to the cost of lost opportunities and the decision to take action becomes insurmountable.

Be decisive for your organization and your customers  when selecting and assessing performance in a role.