My family and I were watching Salon Takeover on Bravo the other night where one of the hairstylists was obviously a poor performer. She wasn’t great at time management, talked incessantly about herself, disregarded her clients time constraints, was a poor listener, didn’t take criticism to heart and was a drag on the other stylists. This girl was nice enough, but was so full of excuses and a lack of commitment to improve.
At the end of the show came judgment day. Would Michelle be allowed to stay on? My son Nick, a manager at the Guitar Center, and I started to arm chair quarterback. Although Michelle was a poor performer, the salon owner had poor management and leadership skills. Michelle hadn’t been properly trained and expectations and standards were clearly not in place. Both Nick and I thought it would be unfair to let Michelle go at this point.
Tabatha, the consultant featured on the show, agreed with us and at the end of the episode, Michelle was put on probation, given clear goals and expectations and a chance to turn herself around. Six weeks later, while still not perfect, Michelle had improved her performance dramatically.
If you have a poor performer on your team, here is what you need to do:
- Sit down privately with this person and let them know their performance is lacking
- Explain the ramifications of no improvement. If their job is on the line, make sure they know it.
- Assess the nature of the problem together. There could be a lot of reasons…
- Lack of clear roles and responsibilities (This is your job to fix)
- Lack of standards (Your responsibility)
- Lack of training (Joint responsibility)
- Lack of motivation (Their responsibility)
- Personal Issues (Their responsibility)
- Poor communication (Joint responsibility but they bear the final burden)
- Create a written Improvement Plan
- Follow up and monitor their performance
- Congratulate performance improvement or… let them go if they do not improve.
All the best!
All the time!