It’s almost inevitable. In any organization, there are likely to be underperformers. As an owner or manager, what are your options?
Certainly, you can always fire an underperforming employee. But then you must go through the search-hire-train process all over again. And who is to say the new hire will be any better?
Rather than firing that underperforming employee, perhaps a conversation between the owner/manager and the employee would be a good start. In that conversation, the owner could ask a series of questions:
Are you happy here?
What do you like about your job?
What do you hate about your job?
What is your superpower?
What would you like to do every day?
Do you believe in the company and its direction?
If you can find the employee’s superpower, and which tasks the employee enjoys doing (and which she hates), perhaps you can shift different job functions among the team of workers. For instance, if Sheila loves doing tasks A and B, but hates C and D, you may find another team member that enjoys doing C and D. You can tell Sheila, “Look, I’ll assign you more of A and B, but you’re still going to do a little of C and D. You okay with that?”
If Sheila won’t agree, or if the new arrangement isn’t working after a few weeks, the next conversation may be, “This is not working out. I have contacts with other companies in the area. How about I make a few calls and see what’s a better fit for you?”
Simply telling an employee what they are going to do is unempowering for the employee. Instead, letting the employee align their job tasks with their superpower gives them a sense of contributing to the success of the company.