Managers are rarely trained to lead teams and often are left to learn on their own. As many struggle to fill vacant or new roles, managers may find themselves overlooking a replacement player and ignoring bad behaviors or poor production simply because they know it will be difficult to replace them or a burden to confront them. They take advantage of the higher-performing players, assuming they will pick up the slack or ignore the “bad” employee.
Ignoring these employees or putting them into uncomfortable positions rather than firing them is called “quiet firing”.
Andy Medici shares in a recent article for The Business Journals, “While a ‘quiet firing’ may seem to be taking the easy way out, it can hurt the morale of the larger team, which either sees someone lagging behind over months or picks up on the toxicity from the manager to a member of their team, hurting team dynamics and pushing high-performers to think about their own exit.”
Replacement players can pose a real risk to your team and organization. Failure to appropriately address issues associated with these team members can foster resentment, mixed messages and a lack of accountability throughout your team and the entire organization.
However, replacement doesn’t always mean eliminate. If a player is determined to be underperforming, it’s time to re-evaluate. It could be that the team member is simply in the wrong role.
Managers can get frustrated with underperforming team members, but in a lot of cases, the team member isn’t even aware of their deficiencies. It is important that when completing employee assessments, managers include comments and notes to provide context and opportunities for improvement. Communication shouldn’t stop there. If a manager sees room for improvement, they need to communicate the issues with the employee to monitor progress frequently.
David Hassell, CEO OF 15Five, shared with The Business Journals, “Managers, especially, need the training and tools to create an engaging and empowering environment for their teams, one in which they know that they are contributing with others towards a shared purpose. Training and transparency not only signal to current employees that their efforts are meaningful and appreciated but establishing an attractive work culture opens the door for new employees to continue the company’s success.”
Here are a few steps managers can take to effectively engage with replacement players:
- Communicate expectations with all team members.
- Regularly engage with employees to share what is working and not working.
- Conduct ongoing evaluations so poor performance is not a surprise.
With the Truvelop app, members receive coaching support via Manager Cue Cards which provide tips and suggestions for ways to engage with employees based on their scores. Frequent, ongoing evaluations can help ensure employees are performing well and gain the support they need to develop skills or achieve goals.
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