When addressing employee performance problems, managers
need to ask themselves, “Was the person dead when I hired
him/her, or did I or the company kill him/her?”
When it comes to employee performance, there are 2
scenarios that occur about 95% of the time that are
controllable and 1 scenario that occurs about 5% of the
time that is uncontrollable:
1. Inadequate Hiring System – Controllable
2. Organizational Culture Deficiencies – Controllable
3. Employee Personal Problems – Uncontrollable.
HR POINTER: Our advice to clients is to work on the
systems that you can control and set up a performance
monitoring system to identify the uncontrollable as soon
as it occurs.
A company’s first line of defense to getting great
employees is the hiring process. Most hiring processes
are “beauty contests” that mistakenly use the 4-A
attributes of Attractive, Aggressive, Articulate, Amiable
to make hiring decisions.
The second line of defense is keeping great employees. As
such, a company needs to establish an organizational
culture that actively engages employees and reinforces
Finally, there are numerous personal issues that can
negatively affect an employee’s performance. Management
cannot control these external issues. However, management
can set up a performance monitoring system that can detect
deviations before they get to a tipping point.