Broken Piece

Only productive under pressure. Requires more supervision and revision
to balance the results they bring about.

Pieces on a chess board: Poor Performer

The next situation is often overlooked by business owners even though this harms them tremendously.

This is having a team of people who show up at their work, seem busy but hardly ever produce the expected results. To get something done, they require instructions, reminders, follow ups… They take no initiative. In simple terms, they behave like they were pieces on a chess board, they are useless left to their own devices.

Let’s dig deeper here, there are three variations of this type of person.

The broken piece: This is the worst of them all. They look like a functioning piece, but when you are ready to move and get something done, you discover that the piece is broken. You then have a new challenge. You have to fix the broken piece before you can even use it. An example of such a case would be a technical support person with poor writing skills who is supposed to answer clients’ emails. Knowing his weakness, he resorts to calling the clients instead of replying to the emails. This, in turn, takes longer and the unanswered emails pile up alongside the growing number of unhappy clients. To fix this, the technician stays late, which also means he will require to be paid overtime rate. See how this is getting costly?

Broken pieces are very harmful to your company. They are by nature hard to detect, as they actively hide their inabilities by often compensating for them with their alternative good attributes.

The solution is to look closely at how their job is being done and to what effect. When you identify their weak point try to work with them. If the person is willing to invest time and energy the best way forward would be to reallocate them to a function where they can be most productive and contributive. If the person doesn’t want to cooperate or solve the situation, then he definitely doesn’t qualify for the post he was hired for and you should take the necessary measures to find the right person.

Have you ever detected a broken piece in your teams?
How did you handle that?

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