Your options when a team member underperforms…

So you’ve got a team member who is not cutting the mustard. And like many other business owners, you have avoided the issue for too long. And now its starting to cost the company money. And more importantly, its costing you money. So what can you do?

Well, there is a lot that you can do. You can act quickly and get a result thats good for all. There is a good deal of learning to be done at the same time because if you do not learn, history will repeat itself.

You must be a great leader in your business and you will attract great people.

Firstly, you’ve got to answer this question. Did you hire bad people or did they get bad since you hired them? Either way, the problem is still yours. Quite often, the hiring process is overlooked so this is a good place to start irrespective of outcome. Take it slowly.

Back to the underperforming employee. before you begin the process of fixing or firing youve got to have a few things in place. This is because if things go wrong, you need to be compliant.

1. Proper contract of employment – This is a very simple one page document and is for your benefit as much as the team member.

2. Job description – outline in detail what the role entails and more specifically what you expect from the team member and how performance will be appraised.

The standards and levels of commitment required by SME companies are rising and its not ok just to turn up for work and expect to get paid. So this needs to be outlined to the team member from the outset and right through their career. This does not mean that work becomes difficult, it just means that people know what they have been hired to do and by doing that, it will help them in their career as well.

It’s OK to challenge someone if their work is not up to scratch. Its OK to challenge someone  if their attitude towards their work, their work colleagues, their bosses or their customers is not what it should be. Its costing the business owner money every time.

It may be that they need to talk about an issue and  maybe you can help. It may be that they have other stresses in their lives – You need to know that but you do not need to fund that for an extended period. It may be that they are unfilled in their career and they need a new challenge – You may need to help them with that.

Remember that sometimes people need to step outside their comfort zones and and make a change for themselves. Sometimes, you as a business owner have to accelerate this process. Are you ready? Call me on 087 222 0720 to discuss.

Sell the Sizzle not the Steak

At ActionCOACH we define selling as “Professionally helping people to buy”. Its based on the principle that people hate to be sold to but they love to buy things.

The most common mistake that people who go into sales make, is that they think that they have to be great at talking and that they have to talk all about their product and the features of their product or service.  The reality is that the customer probably does not actually want the product or service that you are offering but they may want what the product or service delivers. i.e when a person asks for a drill bit in a hardware store, do they really want a drill bit or do they want a hole in the wall?!!

I recently witnessed a presentation on a product which “featured” a lot of technical detail. I observed that the sales person had lost the crowd within 2 minutes because he was blinding them with technical information. The product he was selling could help the same business really increase their sales and profits but he missed the point and missed the sale. If he had asked them first about what they expected from the product and how they would measure their return on investment, he would have had a greater degree of success.

If your sales approach needs to change to reflect today’s market then take action now. Call us on 065 707 9873. You may not want to have a business coach but you may want what we can deliver – increased profits guaranteed.

Together Everyone Achieves More

In 2011, Business Owners in Ireland are pulling out all the stops in their efforts to drive on their business. Having gone though serious cost cutting exercises over the past 3 years, many of the business owners are again looking at efficiency and productivity. When we work with clients, we coach and teach them on leadership and the importance of building a team of committed professionals.

Helping a business owner to lead a team and to see the benefits of this leadership is very rewarding. The results are immediate and long lasting and it also impacts the bottom line.

Many business owners are fearful of leading a team because they often lack the skills or techniques. Simple team leading strategies work in most cases.

If your business needs some focus on Team, call Derek on 087 222 0720.