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The Cost of Underperformers

The Cost of Underperformers

By: Ross Paterson

Underperforming Employees – Part 1

The highest conflict conversation between an owner and employee is the conversation about poor performance. All employees need honest, candid feedback about their performance. Most of the time, if done professionally, they benefit from the insight. However, when it involves particularly critical or egregious behavior, it can be one of the most painful conversations for owners and leaders to have. Often the default is to avoid the conversation. The cost of avoidance to your business is significant.

  • Morale and Engagement of the team decline
  • The owner/leader neglects strategic priorities
  • The best performers will be the first to leave


I remember one of my mentors in the Army challenging me not to pass on performance problems to the next command. We made it a leadership imperative to take on the challenge of reforming soldiers or releasing them. Over the past six years XMP has translated that imperative for use in the small and medium business markets. Hundreds of our clients have used our process with great success; cutting through the fog of tough people decisions. Over the next few weeks we will be sharing the basics behind our thinking and methods.  Here are the six steps:

  1. Make an assessment
  2. Crack open the door
  3. Prepare for a tough conversation
  4. Formal conversation round 1
  5. Formal conversation round 2 (and 3 as required)
  6. Termination decision


Do you default to avoiding those tough conversations with underperformers? Let me offer you a one-hour free consultation in person to give you meaningful insight and a solution. Contact us here.


Up next: Underperforming Employees – Part 2