Who is under-performing in your business?

performance-managementBuilding a business can be exhilarating and frustrating – often both at the same time.  So much to do, so many things to tackle.

I can’t tell you how many bosses have told me – “so and so is driving me crazy – they don’t do their job and I have to go in and do it for them”.    Sometimes they have felt like this for months, even years.


You know you have to tackle them, but you’re so busy doing your job AND their job that there is no time.   You keep this up till something snaps– your temper goes or your health goes. Then there’s a crisis.
If you paid for a car that didn’t work, you’d take it back to the garage – you’d get a refund, or get it fixed.  You wouldn’t own a useless car for six months and walk everywhere.
Are you more likely to book your car in to the garage than have a conversation with an under performing member of staff?
The longer it goes on, the worse it gets, and the harder it is to tackle.  Under performance becomes the new performance standard, and so it goes on.
When it comes to under performing managers it’s even worse.
“Why should I pay a manager and then have to manage them?”  I never hear that from people who are successfully managing multiple layers of managers and businesses.
The life cycle of a boss. 
  • When you start a business
    Your job is to get the business going and do what it takes, from sales to customer service, to finance – getting the show on the road.
  • When you take on paid help
    Your job is to set standards and processes and make sure they are appropriate.   
  • When you take on managers
    Your job is to manage the managers.  You make sure they are able to manage the things they need to manage.
  • Repeat and improve
    You keep doing these things for a very long time as you refine your business and learn how to manage people in a way that works for your business.
Being a boss is a job.  
It’s not the same job as front line service provider and it requires different skills.   You have to master the skill of getting people to do what you pay them to do or your business won’t thrive.
If someone in your business is not doing what you want them to do, we need to have a conversation.
  • We’ll do our job
  • You’ll get back to doing your job 
  • They (or someone else) will do the job you are paying for

About the Author Annabel Kaye

We founded Irenicon in 1980 to help employers make employment law work for them. We were always a mixed disciplinary practice – something quite revolutionary at the time. Over the years we have worked with some wonderful organisations, pushing the boundaries of how employment law can really be made to work without restricting the flow of the organisation.

follow me on:

Leave a Comment:

Add Your Reply