Project Execution Problems – Pinpoint Poor Performers


M. Duncan Moore

Very often when a manager of a business unit has problems with the units execution of assignments you will find one or more poor performers. This is usually not an unknown. The manager may have had issues with specific employees before or may have suspicions that a certain person is not doing the job. There could be complaints or feedback from other members of the team concerning a given employees performance.


Dealing with poor performers is difficult and challenging. It requires interventions, training, coaching. In the majority of situations, the performance issue falls into one of several categories: Training Issues Attitude/Behavior Issues While dealing with performance problems are serious business and not to be dealt with lightly, we can have a bit of fun describing the types of performers who fall into these categories and discuss the issues. Training Based Performance Problems: 1. Frightened Freda: In this case Frightened Freda is afraid to make mistakes. This person usually does not speak up when the assignment is given for fear of looking bad. Instead, they stall or delay action and appear very tentative when working on the assignment. 2. Newt the Newbie: Similar in some way to Freda, Newt is new and does not want to appear that way. Newt may have the skill for the assignment but is unclear of the rules of the road for this business unit or Newt may lack the skill and therefore act like Freda. 3. Skill-less Sam: Here you have someone who has not worked on the particular type of work being requested. They have done good work in their area of expertise but may need additional training for a new assignment. Attitude/Behavior Problems: 1. Pig Pen Paul: This persons performance suffers because they are disorganized and sloppy regarding their wok and their messiness delays or creates roadblocks to execution. 2. Bossy Bettie: This person is usually a disrupter to the actions and work of the team. They take over, even when not empowered to do so, and start interjecting themselves and telling others what to do while not doing much themselves. 3. Lazy Louie: This employee is usually pretty obvious. They exhibit little initiative, avoid working on the assignment and push their work off on others. 4. Distracted Dean: This is usually a focus issue or someone who struggles to keep priorities straight. They are easily interrupted and get off track at the drop of a hat. 5. Whats In It for Me Melvin: This employee is totally self-absorbed. They expect some clear indication as to how they are going to get something out of the work. They are not team players and constantly require some tangible self-serving motivation to become engaged in the assignment. Where the category is Training Issues, the manager can generally move directly into a more prescriptive action. A training program or development plan can be set in motion. The skills, knowledge or abilities required for the job or a particular assignment can be obtained in a training process. The Training issues are more manageable as long as resources are available. The Attitude/Behavior Issues are not so simple. The first step is to identify which of our characters your poor performer represents. Pig Pen Paul and Distracted Dan are likely coaching interventions. You point out the issue, describe the negative impact on the work product and the team and set short term goals for improvement. Be specific and coach to expectations. With Bossy Betty, Lazy Louie Whats In It for Me Melvin, the challenge is more difficult. You must first follow the protocols or your HR department regarding how approach the Performance Plan. This may require a verbal warning, followed by a written warning followed by a final Warning. The performance plan must be very specific and set out detailed improvement steps and measurements. This is not at all an easy process to undertake in order to resolve. The most important action here is Action. Do not; I repeat Do Not let these types of performance issues sit. They will not go away and the sooner you confront them the sooner the business unit will be the better for it. Do everything you can to help these people overcome their issue. If all efforts failget them off your Bus! (c) Copyright – Michael D. Moore. All Rights Reserved World Wide

ABOUT Management By Delegation & Mike Moore

Plan-Delegate-Manage is an organization that strives to bring real world experience, proven skills and valuable management delegation tools to managers and Executives around the world. As a veteran executive in the Insurance & Banking industries, Mike brings over 40 years of proven experience in building teams and developing successful managers. Contact: Mike Moore Telephone: 513 520-7177,or e-mail at Your Comments Are Welcome

Article Source:

Project Execution Problems – Pinpoint Poor Performers