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Whether you have a manager who is lying down on the job, inept, guilty of bad behavior or is stressed from personal issues, you have performance issues.

They include missed deadlines, poor quality, unmet objectives or targets, complaints from customers or employees, non-compliance of work policies and procedures, and poor team morale.

If your organization has an underperforming manager, you’ll ultimately pay the price in one or two ways:

  1. You’ll have an underperforming department and possibly a company.
  2. You’ll risk losing lower-level talent over morale issues.

Certainly, you don’t want to tolerate such a situation.

Here are the four steps to take:

1. Research the situation

You must conduct research. Don’t rely on rumor or hearsay.

Determine if the person’s performance is substandard and why. If it is substandard, document the reasons.

2. Evaluate what you find

Examine the data. Draw conclusions.

Review the goals of the position to see if they’re realistic. Make certain they’re aligned well with the overall strategy of your organization.


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Next, determine how well or poorly the person performs.

3. Take appropriate action

If the person’s performance is lacking, explain why to the manager. Make certain the person is clear on goals and shortcomings.

Explain what will happen if the person doesn’t meet the acceptable standards.

Give the person a chance to respond. Check to see if the person takes ownership for performance improvement and agrees to improve. If there are personal issues, an outside resource is appropriate.


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Evaluate the whole organization. Make certain you are honestly consistent with your standards and actions across all departments.

If you aren’t consistent, you face the prospect of being accused of discrimination.

4. Prepare for the next steps

Coach the person to improve performance. If the person improves and meets expectations, great. If not, well, get ready for termination.


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Finally, remember success takes a team approach. Closely monitor the effects on the supervised employees.

Make certain resulting problems don’t spread like a cancer. Check for morale and backsliding issues with the person’s employees.

From the Coach’s Corner, related strategies:

7 Management Tips – Communication with Difficult Employees — Multiple problems including loss of profit result from ineffectively dealing with difficult employees. Here are seven Biz Coach tips.

Optimize Talent Management with 5 Coaching Culture Tips — When managers become coaches, you get a higher-performing workforce. You will have replaced mediocrity with strong performance. Here’s how to develop a coaching culture.

10 Management Attributes for Effective Communication — Communication skills are critical for managers. People with enhanced abilities in communication typically have successful relationships at work and home. Good communicators typically have 10 attributes.

5 Quick Management Tips to Motivate Your Employees — A major quandary for managers is to bring out the best in their employees. Every manager wants to do it, but it’s not always easy. What’s the reason? Usually, it’s because employees are disengaged – disconnected from their managers and companies. Here’s how to fix it.

Management: How to Help Employees to Grow Professionally — Managers owe it to the organization to help their employees grow professionally, and will benefit from higher employee performance and low turnover.

“A key to achieving success is to assemble a strong and stable management team.”

-Vivek Wadhwa


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.