How to manage under performance & get results . . .

As a valued member of our tribe we wanted to share the learning from our Managing Under Performance workshop last week

We started big picture and discussed how complexity in the world of ‘doing business’ gets foggy (like the fog of war). If not handled correctly, it quickly starts diminishing business value. By exploring the 8 ways to simplify an organisation we identified specific areas we can adjust now to reduce the complexity and clear the fog.

We took a deeper look at the 5 dysfunctions of a team and identified the areas in our businesses where we need to focus more attention to ensuring our team works well and that healthy conflict is constructive. This then lead into the main topic of the day – Managing Under Performance . . .

We took a look at the difference between poor performance and under performance and challenged the group to make communication with their staff a priority and normalise feedback. This meant dealing with the 3 Bad Apples immediately as research shows having just one poor performer can decrease performance of the whole team by 30-40%. That is a huge impact on the bottom line.

We also explored the gaps that can cause under performance which include structures, awareness, lack of skill or the ‘won’t do’ attitude. The last one being the most challenging. Commitment was made to the golden rule:  Never allow someone to be comfortable with under performance.  Why? Because if a person is comfortable, they will never change. As business leaders and managers, we will not be trapped and tempted ‘not rock the boat’ again as treading lightly around under performance is a fallacy.

There are only 2 acceptable options to poor performance . . . move up or move out. To make this happen we need to implement accountability using the 5 critical steps (see the model below)

Now to facilitate an under performer to make a change we need to maintain discomfort for long enough for the change to work and this is assessed by ensuring we are applying the Law of 2 reasonables . . .

#1: Am I asking them to do something that is reasonable?
#2: Am I asking them in a reasonable way?

We then tackle​​​​​d the dreaded performance review (and concluded that everyone hates performance reviews). So we turned it on its head with our  ‘Progress & Development Conversation’. This will be a topic for a future blog, so keep an eye out for it. At the end of the day we dumped the traditional ‘Performance Review’ and scoring systems many organisations use, for a more positive and inclusive progress conversation.


The next Business Leaders Forum is scheduled for the 8 August 2018 where we will again work collaboratively on key business challenges, share ideas and insights to help business leaders to grow their business, their people and themselves.

We look forward to seeing you at our next Business Leaders Forum.

Sean Martyn

PS: Whenever you’re ready . . . here are 4 ways we can help you grow your business:

  1. Download The Profit Booster Hacks for business.  These 12 simple strategies guarantee more profit in your business without having to find any new customers! – just Click Here …….it’s free
  2. Join the Business By Design HUB & connect with other businesses who are scaling too. It’s our private facebook community where we share the latest insights, business tips and ask questions about business. — Join now by just Clicking Here
  3. Join our Business Leaders Program.  There are 4 key elements to the program that guarantees success; Coaching & Training / Quarterly Workshops / an Online Support portal and scores of tools / An active Peer-To-Peer Network of clients helping each other. To find out more – Click Here
  4. Work with me and my team privately.  If you’d like to work directly with me and my team to take your profit from 6 figures to 7 figures and beyond … just reply to this message and put “Private” in the subject line… tell me a little about your business and what you’d like to achieve together, and I’ll get you all the details!

Phone (02) 6658 0775