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3 Things to Do When the Employee You Just Promoted Is Underperforming

If they're not cut out for the role, there's only one place for them to go: out the door


After years of climbing the corporate ladder, developing a person’s skillsets, and mentoring them for the next chapter, you’ve decided it’s time to finally grant that promotion. The employee has undoubtedly deserved to take that next step, complete with a title change, salary increase, profit-sharing perks, and maybe even that coveted corner office.

And then, things take a turn for the worse. Complaints from their colleagues, slipping numbers, and an overall drop in performance have now come to your attention. Now you can’t help but feel one a deep sense of regret. Were you wrong about this person, after all? 

It can feel like a blow to have someone you’ve groomed to take over become a huge disappointment. It feels like a personal reflection of your leadership. Where did you go wrong?

But not all is lost quite yet. Here are three things to do to try and turn things around. 

1. Act fast.  

If there’s one piece of advice you take away from this article, let it be this: don’t wait. The longer you let things slide, the more it havoc it can cause. The first sign of performance falling or an ego rising needs to be addressed immediately. Otherwise, relationships will become strained, the company suffers, and morale goes out the window. And then there are your own stress levels to consider. 

There’s no time like the present. Act fast and swiftly. Is the team they’re managing complaining about their leadership style? Address it in 24 hours of the complaint. If you see that the person is struggling in the new role, don’t throw him in the deep end and hope he learns to swim. Be the liferaft that can bring him back on course. 

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