The One Person Who Is Holding Your Company Back by Inc.com

“The One Person Who Is Holding Your Company Back” | Written By: Tom Gimbel / Inc.com

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The One Person Who Is Holding Your Company Back

If you want to have a high-growth company, this one person is jeopardizing it.

By Tom GimbelFounder and CEO, LaSalle Network@TomGimbel
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Almost every small-to-mid sized company has this person. The really nice, average producer who “covers themselves.” They are a terrific corporate citizen, participate in the non-job-description responsibilities and do what they are asked…but why are they average?

Covering their cost isn’t why they were hired. If you took that approach with every employee, your company wouldn’t grow or achieve. To have a high-growth company, you need people who push. There is such a thing as nice, high achievers. It may take a little time to work through it, but they are out there.

While it may be about this one employee (Why don’t they push harder? Why don’t they learn a new skill?), it’s really about your entire company. Every employee who works with this person views them as the bar. It evolves your company into a group of people who believe that mediocre results are ok. It’s ok to come up short if you’re nice.

What’s wrong with having a company of nice people? Nothing. It’s a great thing to have; however, when you take the defensive stance over a mediocre performer, you’re showing the problem.

So, how do you fix it?

  1. Make your managers stack-rank their teams in three different ways. A) Who they like. B) Who is best at their job today. C) Who has the most potential over the next 12 months.
  2. Work with your HR leader to set up: A) Documented performance improvement plans (PIPs) for people who show up at the bottom of 1B and 1C. B) Weekly or bi-monthly one-on-one meetings between managers and staff. C) Expectations of what is acceptable (average!) and what is excellent performance.

If people are average, they should know it. Employees will think they are doing well unless they are told their execution is subpar.

It’s not easy to have poor-performing, nice people. You may have started your company or become a leader at your company because you had been treated badly at your last company. You want to attract nice people and keep them. I get it. Holding people accountable doesn’t mean you’re not nice.

And at the end of the day, how nice is someone who could be more productive if they worked harder or learned more, but they choose not to because they know mediocrity is tolerated if you’re nice.

Oh yeah, in order to make it work, you have to fire the mean employees who are highly productive. Stay tuned on how to do that.

Published on: Sep 30, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
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“The One Person Who Is Holding Your Company Back” | Written By: Tom Gimbel / Inc.com
September 30, 2019 at 01:05PM
VIEW ARTICLE ON Inc.com >> https://www.inc.com/tom-gimbel/the-one-person-who-is-holding-your-company-back.html

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