Rewarding Poor Performance

 

Hi, everybody. I’m Mike Staver. This is Mondays with Mike, a weekly video series where I answer questions from people just like you. Here’s this week’s question.

“Our company has people on the payroll that don’t do jack. It drives me crazy. The owner keeps pouring money into them and enabling their disengaged poor performance. Not only do they not do anything at all to add value, they’re actually rewarded for their poor performance. What in the name of all that’s holy is that about? What do you think I should do?”

You might get the award for the best question. Our company has people on the payroll that don’t do jack. It drives me crazy. The owner keeps pouring money into them and enabling their disengaged, poor performance. Not only do they not do anything at all in caps, to add value, they’re rewarded for their poor performance. What in the name of all that’s holy is that about? What do you think I should do? Well, at least it doesn’t bother you. Yes. You know what, all jokes aside, run. No. Just kidding. Here’s the thing, unless you’re a partner in this firm or unless you have money invested in this firm, it’s really none of your business unfortunately.

If the owner is pouring money into them– Yes. You know what, this happens a lot you guys. There are owners that I have worked with in the past who pour money after a chase. What is that? Good money after bad. The fact of the matter is you don’t have a lot of choice. The owner owns it. It’s their checkbook. They can do what they want with their money. However, you’ve got to ask yourself. Is the owner aware that their performance is bad? Does the owner know? Are there clear expectations? Is it affecting others? If there are no clear expectations and if it is affecting others then it falls to you to go have a conversation with the owner.

I will tell you that I have seen owners do this with their own kids and I’ve seen owners do this with employees and there’s always a reason. There’s always a thing behind the thing. There’s always something going on in the background that we need to pay attention to. Sometimes it can be things that we’d rather not know about. Sometimes it can be things that are inappropriate. Sometimes it can be sometimes things that are appropriate that those employees who are getting special treatment may have some personal trauma in their life that your owner is trying to take care of. I don’t know. If it’s having a negative impact on others and not just people are mad about it, but it’s having a negative impact on the business or negative impact on other people then I think you need to go have a conversation with the owner if it’s safe to do.

It’s likely the owner will tell you it’s none of your business. I will tell you I’ve had people in my life in my company come to me and tell me that it’s a complete waste of money that we keep pouring money into somebody and I appreciated them telling me that. I didn’t necessarily change it right away, but I did appreciate it and I did think about it. I will tell you that those who have come to me and done it in a nasty way, I blew off because I don’t need that in my life. But people who came out of a concern for me or concern for the customer or concern for the company, I appreciated it very much. Hope that’s helpful.

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