Talk to Your Team About Poor Performers [Video]

“Praise in Public, Criticize in Private.” This is a great leadership maxim – but in the 21st century it needs one small tweak, especially when it comes to poor performers. In this video, Dr. Hoogeveen explains what that tweak is.



Today, I want to share an insight, a leadership insight with you. And, it addresses a situation where we often see frontline supervisors handle something poorly. And the reason they often handle these situations poorly is because they have been given extremely bad advice by upper management. Let me explain what I’m talking about.

When a supervisor has a staff member who is struggling with respect to their performance, a staff member who’s not carrying their weight and doing what is expected of them regularly, oftentimes, supervisors are told to address that with the employee but to keep that situation, that conversation, confidential. This is a huge mistake.

You see, the other employees are well aware that this employee is struggling. And if the supervisor does not tell the other employees that they noticed it and that the problem is being addressed, well, those other good employees who are everyday pushing and pulling the wagon up the hill, they can only think one of two things, that their supervisor. Either their supervisor is too stupid to notice that there’s a problem or their supervisor doesn’t care enough to address it. And neither of those are good for the supervisor.

Let me tell you, the problem is we have become overly concerned with this notion of confidentiality. I am not suggesting that the supervisor give the other employees all the details of what’s going on in the possible discipline. All they need do is to say, “Mary, I want you to know that I’m aware that Jeff is struggling a little bit. It is being dealt with and I appreciate your patience.”. That’s it.

But with those few words, what you will find out, is that other employee who’s doing a terrific job will be supportive of their supervisor and patient while the situation gets addressed. Join us at GoMindset for more leadership insights.