When it’s been so brutal to hire team members, it’s tempting to tolerate mediocre performances but the price you pay is going to be way more than you’re willing to endure.
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Hey, everybody. Drew McLellan here from Agency Management Institute, this week coming to you from Louisville, Kentucky. You know, I have been on site with an agency and we’ve been talking about the reality of evaluating your team and looking at the players that are A players, B players, and C players. And, you know, in an environment like we’re in right now, where it is super stressful trying to fill the spots that you have opened, trying to find good employees, trying to retain the great employees that you have, it is really, really tempting to keep mediocre employees on staff. Totally get it. You’re like, you know what? Even if there’re a C player, or a D player, they’re getting the work done. It’s marginal, but at least it’s getting done. And I’m worried about being able to find a replacement in a reasonable period of time. But here’s the reality, and this is what we have to remember, even in this kind of an environment. If you want to keep your A players, you need to understand that they want to be surrounded by A players. They want to work with people who are working as hard as they are, who are as smart as they are, who as driven and client-centric as they are. And when you ask them to work with people who are not really pulling their weight, who are sort of Yabba-Dabba-Dooers, out at five, no matter what happens. If you’re under 40, Google, Flintstones, and you’ll understand the Yabba-Dabba-Doo reference. But, the point is, that when you ask your rock stars to work with mediocre players, what it says to them is, I’m willing to tolerate this behavior. And, by the way, I know that your load is heavier, because somebody isn’t as good as you. And I know that you are carrying some of their weight and responsibility along with your own. And after a while, the rock star looks around, and by the way, your rock stars are being proposed to on LinkedIn and other places every single day. And after a while, they look around and they think, why am I working so hard in this agency, where, apparently, it’s appropriate and acceptable for someone to be mediocre? Why am I putting in all this extra time and extra effort, when, clearly, the agency is willing to tolerate a C level performance? And, oftentimes, either one of two things happens, either that person says, nope, I am done. I’m out. And I’m going to take another job somewhere else. Because I want to surround myself with A players. Or, what they do is they ratchet back. And they say, you know what? If they get to stay and put in that level of effort, maybe I can just put in that level of effort, too. I don’t have to check email at night. I don’t have to go the extra mile. I don’t have to do the extra things that I do to be excellent at my job. I can be mediocre, too. So in either case, what you’re doing by keeping the mediocre player is costing you your A player. They’re either ratcheting back and becoming a B or a C player, or they just leave. And they go to an agency where they can be surrounded by A players. So, even in this environment, we have to be really mindful of who we surround our team with, and making sure that everybody on the team has the same attitude, the same understanding, the same conviction of the quality of the work, and the commitment to the clients and the commitment to each other. Because if not, what happens is, the mediocre players stay, and the rock stars leave. Or, the rock stars become mediocre, too. Neither of those are good for your shop. So, even in this tough hiring environment, do not tolerate mediocre players. Coach them up or coach them out. But do not tolerate people who are saying to your best employees, your best clients, it’s okay to phone it in here. And that’s what I’m going to do. It is not good for your agency in the short-term or the long-term. All right, I’ll see you next week.