Franchise Success Call

Your Employees Are Not Doing a Good Job? There are Three Reasons

leadership people Dec 29, 2021
Why Employees Do a Bad Job

In these times of staffing crisis, hiring the right people is very important. But being able to retain them is even more relevant. So, if they are not meeting your expectations, why not take the time to figure out the reasons they are not doing a good job?

In a past vlog, I explained why I completely disagree with the saying “hire slow, fire fast” and how the correct approach is to hire slow and fire slow (learn all about it here). This means that before you take the fast lane and let someone go, you should find out what happened and ask the right questions to inquire into why they're not doing right. 

It’s worth the time! Surely enough, you’ll learn a thing or two about your business and how to improve it. In my +30 years of experience in the franchise industry, I’ve come to realize that there are only three potential reasons why the job is not done correctly.

  1. Lack of knowledge

When somebody goes into a new company they have to acquire not only all the necessary knowledge to do the job, learn about operational processes, Business Management Systems, procedures and standards. They also have to get used to the culture, the team, the equipment, and the policy.

That’s a lot of information. A year may pass and they may still won’t assimilate everything. So, if there’s somebody that is not performing, the first think you have to ask is do they have all the knowledge they need to be successful? 

As I mentioned in a previous post about the six roles of a multi-unit franchisee, one of your jobs as a leader is to be “the trainer”. So, if the answer is no, you’ll have to train and coach them.

Another smart move is to ask them directly why they are not doing the job the way that is expected of them. You'd be surprised how some think that they are doing just fine, so resetting the expectations would help them reach your standards.

An extra tip: if the employee that’s underperforming is your district manager, I invite you to learn more about our Multi-unit Leadership Certification Program, which will help your talent develop successfully at this role. More information here! 

  1.  Lack of ability

Some people have certain limitations on their ability to do things, but that doesn't mean that they are not valuable. Let me give an example. My son, before he got into college, was working in a quick service restaurant as a cashier. Then one day, he came home and told me “Mom, I learned something about myself today: I am not a good multitasker”. 

And he explained how his boss had put him in the drive-thru that day and how he was simply unable to have somebody talking to him in the ear, enter the order in the system, manage the cash register and help package the food, all at the same time. He simply couldn’t do it, and once his boss also realized that, he put him in a different position where he was able to have a great performance. 

If you come across a case like this and you want to retain that worker because he’s a great fit for your organization, find an alternative position for them where they can really take advantage of their skills. You can also or pair them with somebody else that can support them or take over those difficult tasks. 

Don’t dismiss them so easily. You spent time, money, and resources to hire this person and develop them, so help them reach their full potential to make them a great asset for your company.

  1.  Lack of desire

Even in this case, you shouldn’t fire them right away. Ask yourself: is there something I can do to motivate them? And dig in a little deeper: is the employee going through something personal? Or maybe something happened that made them lost their trust, loyalty or commitment?

My advice is to find out what can you do to change their motivation. If you tried and are unable to do so, call the disciplinary process to give them a chance to correct their behavior. In the end, if they choose not to, then a separation will happen.

But let's not go there. The moment you detect that somebody is not performing well, aside from approaching them you should also take an honest look at your organization. Many times, we as leaders are also responsible for that lack of performance. 

Perhaps we didn't give them the tools, the training and the knowledge to succeed. Or we haven't taken the time to accommodate them in the right position. Maybe we, the company, or their fellow team members did something demotivated them.

If you don't take the time to go through these situations, you're losing the opportunity to make a difference. As I mentioned before: the effort is with it! When the process is successful and you are capable to turn things around, the employee will win as well as your company.

Find many more business tools like this one to become a great leader for your organization with the help of the American Franchise Academy! Follow us on our social media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn) and subscribe to our YouTube channel where every Monday you can watch our live broadcast as well as review other videos with valuable content and interviews.


  • How well trained is your staff? Do you need to reinforce any process or system to have them perform better? 
  • Is every employee working at the right position or can they shine better at another job?
  • What can you do to motivate your collaborators as the leader of the organization?
  • If you have let go of an employee, have you done everything in your power to retain them?