What Can I do about my Under-performing Manager?

An old client called me this morning with a frustrating challenge. She had realised that one of her managers isn’t pulling his weight, but didn’t know how to handle it.

This manager has been in post many years, and is the most senior of three in the company. Something seems to have changed; he hasn’t always been a problem, sounds like he isn’t coping with change, or is resisting change.

This isn’t uncommon. Many businesses need to adapt to tougher market conditions, often changing processes and introducing improvements out of necessity stand still and you’ll be overtaken by the competition very quickly! That’s why under-performers can’t be ignored, especially when they’re a key cog in the machine. This guy needs to immediately be made aware of the problem; in his position he’s either on board or he’s a saboteur.

There are two strategies to deal with this:

  1. Manage him out of the business, or
  2. Manage him back into the business.

She went for the second option, and because he can (and should!) be so important in managing and implementing change it’s worth the effort. She knows he’s capable after all.

People in similar situations need to consider if they have the capacity to provide the necessary support internally, or use an external facilitator to coach the stray manager back into the fold. The question is- how precious is your time?


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