Workplace provides ‘dead wood’ stage for poor performers

Three-quarters of UK bosses (75%) and almost four out of five staff believe their organisation is weighed down by ‘dead wood’ – employees who consistently under-perform.

Almost half (46%) of the 2,500 people surveyed by Investors in People (IIP) said they were working directly with someone who consistently fails to do their fair share of the work.

The top reason given by employers and employees for people failing to pull their weight is sheer laziness.

And 40% of employees said their employer did little to tackle the problem.

Ruth Spellman, chief executive of IIP, said that staff that don’t pull their weight could breed resentment among colleagues and cripple an organisation’s productivity.

“Employers need to establish a clear approach that develops and motivates their staff to achieve their potential – and to deal with those who don’t,” she said.

IIP advises employers who think that dead wood is an issue in their organisation to:

  • create clearer goals and objectives to ensure that people feel valued

  • provide staff with a personal career development plan with appropriate training where necessary

  • make sure not to neglect the recruitment process. It’s surprising how many companies fail to give enough consideration to the type of applicant they need

  • take a look at yourself – you need to lead by example. If you’re not motivated and giving of your all, how can you expect your team to deliver?

  • keep talking – ensure you put in place a review structure to give your staff the ongoing feedback that they need to develop.

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