Is Poor Employee Performance a Reasonable Excuse For Poor Company Performance?


Absolutely Not!

Employees are a reflection of the company as a whole.  A company must to three things if they want to get the most out of their employees:

1)  Recruit Top Talent

Companies known for recruiting top talent get top talent resume submissions, and will have their pick of the litter when it comes time to fill new positions.  I was once in a situation where my company was known for hiring top talent.  In the area, there was a second company would routinely hire everyone who my company laid off, thinking that at least they will get the second tier of the top talent, which was true.  The difference is that all of the people who were ambitious and successful stayed with my company, and the people who were complacent and destined to be middle managers ended up with the other company.  Over the long-term, each of these organizations began to look a lot like their average employee, and began to have the level of success you would expect from those two different types of employees.

2)  Place People In Positions Where They Have The Ability To Excel

Many companies are good at drawing talent, based solely on their name and level in their respective industry, but are just awful at placing people in the correct positions.  For example, I think we all have someone from our past who was extraordinarily talented, but was placed in a position far too early in his/her career, or was placed into a no-win position that left them with less enthusiasm for the current company, only to watch these individuals leave for another company where their career suddenly took off again.  Every company needs to analyze each employee’s strengths and weaknesses, then place that employee in a situation where they can either take advantage of those strengths to drive success, or improve on those weaknesses so that they will be ready for the next position that the company has in mind for them.

3)  Identify and Future Leaders & Future Losers

Companies have a responsibility to identify those people in their organization who show the skills that would make them attractive future leaders.  Those employees should be cultivated and molded in the way that the company sees fit to drive the most future benefit to the company in the long-run.  The company also must identify future losers, and quickly get rid of them at all costs.  I am not advocating an “up or out” strategy, as there are many people who are destined for middle management, and will excel at those positions for decades on end.  However, when you identify someone who was promoted prematurely, or has developed incurable habits, you must dispose of those employees instantly.  You owe it to the employee, as well as the company, to identify future leaders and losers, and to take thoughtful action in either helping them rise or leave the organization.

As you can see, all three of these actions are completely 100% in the company’s control.  They are in charge of getting the most out of their employees, setting the mood in the corporation, and controlling the internal structure of the organization.  Just like companies control their external brands, it is extremely important for companies to control their internal brand.  Companies must recruit the right people, place those people in the best situation for them to help the company in the long-term, and identify future leaders & losers to fiercely maintain the internal brand that they have created.

Long story short, if you have bad employees, it is completely your own fault.  I hope that helps.  Good luck out there!

Todd Hagopian

Please follow this conversation on quora.com:  http://www.quora.com/Is-poor-employee-performance-a-reasonable-excuse-for-poor-company-performance/answer/Todd-Hagopian

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About Todd Hagopian (@ToddHagopian)

Todd Hagopian received his BA from Eastern Michigan University with a major in Political Science. After graduation, he worked as a Financial Advisor and a Bank Manager before returning to school. He attended Michigan State University, where he completed an MBA with a double-major in Finance and Marketing. Todd is now a Senior Product Development Manager for a Fortune 500 company. He frequently writes about business issues, social media strategy, and political issues that he finds important. Enjoy the blog!

Posted on September 23, 2011, in Business Strategy and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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