How to Identify a Low Performer on your Team

by Mar 6, 2023

Do you have someone on your team who is:

  • Very hardworking and responsible
  • Brings in the most revenue
  • Super high IQ
  • Works hard and puts in long hours
  • Clients and customer love them…

On paper they appear as high performers but there is one thing about them…conflict on the team and fielding internal complaints about this employee.

Historically, anyone who was meeting their sales goal or was surpassing quotas would be considered a high performer, right? And consequently, someone who was not delivering value or revenue would be considered a low performer?  Well, that is so last year!

In modern organizations and high-performing cultures, it’s no longer the only measurement of high performance. If you’re a Manager or Team Lead, here are some other indicators of low performance you might want to consider..


Indicators of Low Performers

If that person has low emotional intelligence, a complete lack of self-awareness or awareness of their impact, then they are causing a LOT of emotional turmoil on your team.

  • Gossips
  • Creates a lack of trust by constantly breaking internal agreements
  • Throws the team under the bus by promising clients unreasonable requests without consulting other team members
  • Is rude to the team
  • Ignorant and lacks empathy
  • Blames and finger points

Or is it someone who has completely detached from the team and is working in silos- thinking if they deliver results, they won’t be let go. They’re wrong.

Civility Partners works with many HR Directors and Managers and yes, while it’s hard to let go of people who are killing it (in terms of revenue) you know what’s harder? Managing someone who isn’t a team player and is causing toxicity and mistrust. Trust takes an enormous amount of time to build, and it’s just not worth having one “jackass” on a team who is bringing everyone down.

Here’s what you can do:

If you’re an employee who thinks that as long as you bring revenue to the company they won’t fire you, think again. Perhaps,  start building relationships with your team and consider the impact your actions, or lack thereof, have on the people around you. Maybe it’s time to invest in EQ?

If you’re a manager who is trying to learn how to identify low performers on your team then the red flags are:  Someone you spend a lot of time managing and keeping accountable with deadlines, and conflicts/complaints on and from the team. NO revenue is worth the constant conflict and lack of sleep. Let them go before you lose the respect of good people on your team and valuable team members.

Remember: One bad apple spoils the barrel!

Share your experience with us. What other signs are indicators of low performance in your company?

Civility is the platform for organizational success—it is absolutely necessary for an organization to reach its goals. Download our Ebook on Seeking Civility to learn more on how to create a workplace free of bullying and abusive conduct.


About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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