Probably one of the most discouraging situations I’ve experienced is when I see a decision maker choose to lock up their organization’s potential. Whether it’s a conscious or unconscious decision, retaining employees that underperform is similar to throwing away the key to their organization’s vault.
Organizations do it every day. The overall belief is that keeping underperforming employees is easier due to a number of factors – avoiding the conflict around firing someone, the person has been on staff for a number of years and there’s a personal relationship or they just don’t want to rock the status quo boat. While hiring and training new employees certainly requires an investment of time and money, the long term benefits outweigh the loss of production, a shrinking client base and unrealized revenues that can occur by keeping underperforming employees.
Case in point, I have a client that offers marketable and relevant services, has a very good reputation and strong client base. They also receive regular client referrals. So, why are they losing ground so rapidly?
One issue – credit card debt. During the economic downturn that seriously impacted their industry, they accumulated significant credit card debt. Monthly payments on these accounts are now seriously impacting their cash flow.
The solution – Increase revenue and reduce expenses.
They hired me a few months ago to perform an organizational analysis using my 4-Key model. While this process allowed us to successfully reduce expenses, a revenue increase requires three of their four employees to improve their performance and sell more services. While the job descriptions for these employees include revenue generating activities and they have the potential to do so, they stopped actively “selling” during the economic downturn. Instead of proactively seeking out business, they waited for the phone to ring. During that same time, management became lax in holding staff accountable for meeting their sales goals. At this point, only one employee is actively selling. The others have made it clear that they no longer have the interest in doing so.
While it should be a simple decision to dismiss an employee who no longer performs the duties he or she was hired to do, the decision makers have not replaced the underperforming staff for a variety of reasons. With no consequences for underperforming employees, management’s inaction simply retains the status quo and does not allow the company to move forward.
While a solid road map was developed to increase revenue and reduce debt, the company’s potential remains locked behind a wall of underperforming employees and a lack of action by management. There are lessons to be learned from this scenario. Take a few minutes and perform a quick survey of your organization using the questions below. If the majority of your answers are “yes,” then you are well on your way to realizing your organization’s full potential.
Are the key indicators on your monthly financial statements reporting any trends up or down?
Are you responding accordingly?
Has your customer or membership base increased? Do you know why?
Are you in a position to invest in a new service or asset?
Do you have a short term or long term strategic plan?
Are your key employees meeting your performance expectations?
If you find that your answers are leaning toward the negative column, Synergy Resources Group can help. Take steps now to move your organization forward.