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People-pleasing managers who turn a blind eye to poor performance and sweep problems under the rug create major problems.

As a result, poor-performing employees who fail to hold themselves accountable are destructive to the organization.

For such workers, an adroit tough-love leadership approach is an important key for effective management.

It’s a fine line. You must know when to be a supportive sounding board but practice tough love in discipline.

You must be careful not to destroy the morale of employees because you’ll shake their confidence leading to poor performance by causing them to walk on proverbial egg shells.

How to have a nurturer-disciplinarian balance:

1. Clearly explain and reinforce your expectations

Be sure your standards are both challenging and reasonable. One key step is to partner with your employees.

Reward your employees for meeting or exceeding the goals for performance.


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Try to be gentle with struggling employees. When necessary, discipline lazy performers.

Make sure poor performers aren’t a bad influence on other employees.Keep an eye on their co-workers. Be firm with them to maintain your desired standards.

2. Understand the individual mindsets of each staff member

Be aware that you probably need to customize your approach for each worker. Some will be too sensitive to criticism. Discipline them softly to allow them to save face.


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Beware some employees ist nurturiresng for various reasons. Either they don’t trust your motives as an authority figure or they don’t have sufficient self confidence. Your approach to them will be successful if you’re a good listener.

3.Be assertive

Don’t risk losing your management edge by being too soft. Tough love is vital.

Too much nurturing sends the wrong impression. Employees will expect it indefinitely and continue their poor performances.


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So be measured in complimenting them.

If you want to compliment a worker, explain how the person is helping your organization.

When it comes time for a reward, make sure you keep in mind the employee’s wants and desires. However, make certain the reward aligns well with your company’s mission.


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4. Keep a balance — nurturing vis-à-vis enforcing

There are specifics to keep in mind in enforcing standards while showing support to employees.


— Encourage employees who are too hard on themselves
— Demonstrative your faith they’ll be successful
— Show enthusiasm when they’re successful
— Use praise incentives


— Don’t tolerate employees’ excuses for poor performance
— Use clear, measurable standards in discipline
— Be consistent in your discipline with all workers

The bottom-line: Conduct tough conversations and document a foolproof corrective action.

From the Coach’s Corner, here additional management articles:

Human Resources: 12 Errors to Avoid in Evaluations — Naturally, you want to praise good performance and discourage bad. What are the best ways? Here’s how to avoid making those classic mistakes.

18 Leadership Strategies to Earn Employee Respect — Eighteen strategies to profit from good labor relations, and to leverage the perspective of employees – your company’s human capital.

Small Business – Easy Ways to Boost Your Employees’ Morale — Employee morale affects performance. Study after study shows a significant percentage of worker morale is mediocre, at best. That’s often the case even for companies that are able to pay competitive wages and benefits. As you might guess, it’s a bigger quandary for business owners that don’t have enough cash flow for raises.

How to Get Strong Results from Your HR Training Investment — Here’s how to obtain a strong ROI from human resources training including how self-awareness training grooms each person’s self esteem to grow 30 percent. This leads to greater morale and profits.

13 Management Tips to Solve Employee Absenteeism — Absenteeism causes migraines for a lot of bosses. Obviously, your company will make healthier profits, if you don’t have an absenteeism problem. Check your attendance records. You’ll see Monday is the most-abused day of the week and January is the worst month for absenteeism.

“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”

-Jack Welch


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.