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HireMyVA Podcast 128- How do you handle working with team members that are nice but underperforming?

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Episode Summary

Everyone on the team can be harmed by even just one poor performer.

Furthermore, relationships between team members, and with clients may suffer if you let it continue. Whilst, damage your brand eventually. Some good employees may also even question why those poor performers tasks are being stalled despite getting along well with everyone, especially when it is known that they already received feedback and coaching.

This is why you must be transparent about what you expect from employees' performance. In the end, it is the proper course of action.

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Learn more about Larry Broughton
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Learn more about Dave Braun
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Episode Transcription

Dave Braun
00:00:03
Hey, everyone. Welcome to the HireMyVA Team and Business Building Podcast brought to you by Yoogozi.com. And in this podcast and at HireMyVA, we help you to reclaim your freedom through hiring and thriving the virtual assistants without breaking the bank- and that means your bank. I’m Dave Braun, I’m here with Larry Broughton. We’re gonna make this a really, really quick episode because of some things that have come up this week.

Larry Broughton
00:00:24
Yeah.

Dave Braun
00:00:25
Hey,

Larry Broughton
00:00:26
Dave, Can we really make this a, a brief one? We’ll see.

Dave Braun
00:00:30
Well, we’ll see with both of us together, No. We’re gonna try.

Larry Broughton
00:00:34
Right. Well, listen, it’s funny because you know, you and I have been coaching and mentoring people for a long time. And whether there are clients or not, people tend to come with us with challenges, you know, encourage you. If you are listening or watching this podcast, you’ve got a business question about leadership, entrepreneurship, building teams, send us your questions because twice in the past week, folks have come to us and said, Hey, or something similar to this. We’ve got these team, or I got this team member who’s really nice, they’re kind. But man, do they suck as it a team member, Some variant of that, like they’re falling short of expectations. They’re not, they’re not showing up. Like they represented themselves in the interview as far as their skillset. That’s generally the question, isn’t it, Dave?

Dave Braun
00:01:24
Yeah. They’re very nice to communicate. Well, they show up on time and all that kind of stuff, but they’re just not getting the results that you as the business owner or manager expect to have.

Larry Broughton
00:01:34
Yeah.

Dave Braun
00:01:35
Yeah. So?

Larry Broughton
00:01:37
The challenge is this. I think there are definitely ways to do this. I can really, we can, I can help on this for sure. I’m sure you can too, Dave. But the challenge is this. It is easy, I think it’s easy to terminate, to part ways to set someone free when they’re a jerk, when they don’t share the core values, they have punched a client or they’ve strangled a team member and they suck at their job. Those are easy to do in my book. But it is, I get that, you know, we try to be compassionate. We try to help people, we try to coach people up and then coach them out. We try to be humane. It is a little bit more difficult when you have somebody who’s really sweet, really kind, but they’re just falling short of expectations. You know, when it comes to their skills, that’s a little bit more challenging for some people.

Dave Braun
00:02:29
And it gets even, and it gets even harder too. When you know, you start, as a good boss manager leader, you get to know your folks a little bit in their personal lives a little bit. And you find that they, they really need the work. They really need the job. They’ve got some challenges financially yeah, in their lives. And they always tell you, I’m so grateful for having this. Thank you so much, you know?

Larry Broughton
00:02:54
Yeah. Well, you can’t be seduced by that. Okay. It’s easy to get seduced by that. And so it does take some discipline. Not some, it takes a lot of discipline. It takes a lot of courage. And so I’ve had this challenge over the years, but I’ve been doing this for a long time now. Now what I realize now today, if I’ve got a nice team member, the nice part is only part of the art part of the job. Remember we have the art part and the science part of being an effective team member for us. The art part is showing up on time being kind to your team members saying, thank you, having a smile on your face. Doing things joyfully that the science part is the technical part of the job, right? Yep. But we’re not charities. Most of us aren’t charities.

Larry Broughton
00:03:44
Right. And so what I have found is that if you’ve got a new team member that is a weak into the job, and they’re not performing the skills or task for which they have been hired, you talk to them at that point, as soon as you can, it becomes more difficult three months in four weeks in four years in to then have that conversation. Because what you’ve said is, Hey, that that performance is acceptable to me. But the sooner you have the conversation, let’s be honest. You’re not, as, you’re not as invested into the early on at, you have the conversation early on and you’re setting the expectations, right? So I think you have the conversation early on to say, Hey man, I am. So I love working with you. I love the smile that you bring to work. Your energy is awesome.

Larry Broughton
00:04:35
Our clients really, really love you. But Dave, you know, actually have to, whatever the skillset is, you actually have to put the password on the account, whatever their job is. You know, you have to do this effectively as well. Now I understood during our interview process, you have experience doing this and you understand the importance of it. Can we talk about where it is? What’s causing us to fall short in this area. And think that’s the conversation you need to have first. Have it again, coach, ’em up. Keep coaching ’em up or coach ’em out ultimately, but you can’t let it linger. You can’t let it linger.

Dave Braun
00:05:14
One of the disciplines of bringing somebody on board is to say, we’ve got to do a, we gotta do that 30 day interview or, or review performance review or earlier.

Larry Broughton
00:05:28
Sure. Don’t wait for 30 days. You know, do spot corrections early on. As soon as you see something, bring it up, but then do a short 15 minute review of their performance 30 days in. Don’t wait until day, no 89 to do a performance review, you know, just before their probationary period end. So we call it an introductory period in our organizations. But yeah, give feedback. Let’s remember, you know, people wanna be on winning teams, right? Winning teams have coaches. You don’t just a bunch of players go on the field and play without some coach giving feedback. Cause when you’re in the weeds, you can’t see the plays breaking, right. I’m sorry. Mixed metaphors my friends. Sorry about that.

Dave Braun
00:06:16
It’s okay.

Larry Broughton
00:06:17
But you, you get the drift here, right? You have to be the leader and the coach. So you, you gotta give critical feedback, right?

Dave Braun
00:06:27
Yeah. And let’s talk about some of the danger that it could also have in your organization if you don’t address this early. And like you said, either coach ’em up or coach them out. So one of the dangers is you’re, if you keep them on too long, it’s gonna send a subtle signal to everybody else that they can slack off on their performance. That’s right. Right. Yeah. And so that’s dangerous.

Larry Broughton
00:06:53
All right. And so Dave, when that happens, who are the first people to leave an organization,

Dave Braun
00:06:56
They’re gonna be the, a plus to the high performers that are busting their butts and doing their jobs. And they’re like, why should I be busting my butt?

Larry Broughton
00:07:04
Exactly.

Dave Braun
00:07:05
Yeah. And, and so it can lead to that in your organization. And, and I think one of the other problems that start thinking about is from a financial perspective is you are paying a certain wage for somebody to do a certain job. And if they’re not doing it to your expectations, then you are kind of mismanaging the money. You’re mismanaging the resources in your business, and you’re not able to serve the clients. You’re not able to, to get that vision and mission accomplished that as well as you normally could.

Larry Broughton
00:07:34
Yeah. I’m gonna remind people of this shameless plug. Number one best selling book Victory. It reminds me, David, we’re talking about this positivity productivity matrix. You can have a team of really positive people, but if they’re not being productive as well, that’s, you know, your business is gonna, that’s gonna fail ultimately, let’s just be honest, you know. Sorry, I’m messing off my screens here. So you want both positivity, the nice people, and you want them to be highly productive as well. That’s the upper right quadrant. You want stallions on your team. You don’t want airy. Very, oh, they’re so nice, for crying out loud. If that’s all you’re looking for, just bring in the beach balls into the office, let people start roller skating through the hallways in your business. And don’t even check your financial statements. You will fail very quickly. You have to, as our former chief operating officer would say, you have to inspect what you expect. Okay. So if you’re expecting high performance, it means you need to get people feedback on their performance.

Dave Braun
00:08:45
Yep.

Larry Broughton
00:08:46
So these stuff I promise you, I know a lot of people who, who watch and listen to these podcasts, these are probably just hashtag TFTRs thanks for the reminders. Right? A lot of you have heard this stuff before, but you have to have the courage to take action. That’s the thing that’s probably missing with the couple of folks who approach this, this week. You know this stuff, but it takes courage. The sooner you communicate your disappointment “disappointment” in someone’s performance or behavior, the easier it is. Rip the bandaid off. Right? Yeah. So let’s see that you’ve got a performer that’s been in the organization for five years now what Dave?

Dave Braun
00:09:25
That that’s more than a bandaid ripping off

Larry Broughton
00:09:29
This is a serious conversation. You need to sit down and have. Have a formal meeting with them. Yeah. And I think reset expectations.

Dave Braun
00:09:38
If it’s been that long in your organization, then chances are, they were doing really well for a long time. And then something happened. So you gotta get to the root of that problem.

Larry Broughton
00:09:48
You gotta dissect it. But maybe

Dave Braun
00:09:51
I was gonna say, get to the root of the problem and figure out is that something that’s temporary or not?

Larry Broughton
00:09:55
Yeah, for sure. So you need to ask a lot of questions, but I would’ve a formal meeting and sit down and say, Hey, here’s, what’s go. Here’s what’s going on. As I see it, man, you’re so kind, you’re so nice. People like working with you, but something that’s going on with their performance. And if you do self-reflection and realize it’s your fault, you need to say, I should have spoken up earlier. What’s happening is resentment is starting to build up among team members around you. And frankly, in me too, I’m getting resentful and that’s not good. And so we need to reset beginning today. Let’s do this and set up a plan, right? Don’t just fire ’em on this way. If it’s your fault, Dave, you can’t, don’t just fire them. Give ’em an opportunity to reset their performance, their expectations, and yours. And then you have to give feedback for a while almost every day, or at least weekly for some period of time. You can’t have the one conversation say here’s what my expectations are. And never give feedback after that, that you’re just setting, you’re setting yourself up and this person up for or failure.

Dave Braun
01:11:00
Yep. exactly. Yeah. And then I guess the last thing I would say here is that this is why we have a community. This is why, you know, when you’re part of our community, you can come onto our monthly calls and ask questions and talk about this stuff. Because like Larry said, a lot of folk, it’s a TFTR and this is something that can easily get you when, if you don’t keep your guard up and you don’t have an opportunity to talk about it in a Q and A, or with a mastermind group or something, you’ve got to have some folks that you regularly share what’s going on in your business, get feedback from, and that can speak wisdom into your life. Got to have that.

Larry Broughton
01:11:45
Yeah. I like that.

Dave Braun
01:11:47
Okay. Yeah.

Larry Broughton
01:11:47
Good.

Dave Braun
01:11:48
Good. Anything else?

Larry Broughton
01:11:51
Brief out to us if this works for you some of the feedback that we’ve given, I’m just gonna say the word I said earlier, because it’s so rare in today’s business environment, you gotta be courageous. You gotta be courageous to have these conversations. But think about it this way. If you don’t do this, you are undermining the financial foundation of your organization. And there are plenty of nice people out there in the world, Okay. Think about the resentment. That’s starting to build up in you. What if that were to go away with that resentmen wasn’t there anymore? How would your team members feel if everyone on the team was performing it, you know, close to their, their fullest capacity? Just take action.

Dave Braun
01:12:40
Good stuff. Yeah. Good stuff. Yeah. All right. This was a quick episode. Thanks for being with us. We normally close with a little bit more stuff, but really just basically we want you guys to give us a review, subscribe to the podcast, subscribe to the channel where it’s on. You guys come in, if you’re part of our tribe, come into our Q and A ask questions there, or ask questions here below in the YouTube video. Give us your thoughts, give us your comments. Tell us if you’ve had an issue of letting somebody go in the past. Most of us probably have, especially those us are really nice. It takes a lot of training and it takes courage and it takes help from mentors to overcome some of this stuff.

Larry Broughton
01:13:26
I think that’s a good point, let me interrupt for one second. Listen, both you and I have gone to, to each other and said, Hey, I’ve got this conversation I’m about to have with a team member or a business partner or something like that. Let me walk this through with you. Right? We did this with a buddy of ours recently, and you give them a little bit of languaging to insert into the conversation. You get a different perspective. This is the great thing about community. I’m sorry to interrupt you.

Dave Braun
01:13:50
No, that’s that’s good. So that’s why you gotta listen to the end. You never know when that little nugget is gonna be there. Want more of these nuggets? subscribe and just to get everything that we’ve got. We we’re getting these podcasts on the site, transcripts and everything. Just go to Hiremyva.com for more information, get our opt-in and join us in our community because we are trying to change the world. We are trying to help folks get freedom in their lives. And you gotta do that through building a team, the only way to do it.

Larry Broughton
01:14:22
That’s right. All right. We’ll catch you on the flip side. God bless you. God keep you. God hold you. We’ll see you later. Bye.

Dave Braun
01:14:29
Okay. Bye folks.

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