Top 5 Points to Consider When You're Carrying a Useless Colleague

Top 5 Points to Consider When You're Carrying a Useless Colleague

Throughout May 2016, I ran a survey which was entitled “What frustrates you about a useless employee or colleague?”

From the responses, here are the top 5 points that were highlighted:

If you want higher standards across the business, the ‘dead-wood’ is holding you back.

The highest response by far (3 in 4 people) was about the quality of work and how it was not up-to-scratch. If you’re bringing in further hires and they’re surrounded by people cutting corners or not reaching the expected levels – be careful because that low quality mind-set will manifest across the team and can be very hard to shake off. Never apologise for having high standards, and never allow your team to justify having low standards.

Think that they’re not having an impact on the rest of the team? Wrong.

Over half of the responses referred to lower morale and a negative attitude. I’ve seen this first hand when you’ve got members of the team fighting to reach a goal, only to be poisoned by 1 person with negative comments and low abilities. Sir Alex Ferguson famously said that there is nobody bigger than the club – and if you’ve got people who you think are better than the business but are bringing everyone down around them, they may need to be put on performance.

1 in 4 people question a management team, because of a bad apple. Future assassins!

This can be a tricky one, because when people go home and speak with their family or friends – or they talk to each other by the water cooler; inevitably questions are raised about the management of poor employees. As such, management are questioned and judged without even being aware of what’s been said.  This is a negative spiral that can be tough to control  as not only can it bring down the morale of the wider sales team but can also make some members of the team hard to manage; all because of an employee not pulling their weight

Nearly half of the responses say that your clients speak poorly about the employee.

Review websites are extremely common, like, and We check out what we’re buying way before we buy it! And as such, it’s important that all online collateral and available research is spot on. If you are being referenced and your representative is letting you down – or even completely missing business – then as the saying goes, ‘bad news travels fast’. Another cliché, ‘people buy from people’ – and if nobody wants to engage with your person then you have to act accordingly.

One third of people question your interview process. Does this need to be refined?

Regular reviews of your interview process and any recruitment partner are always prudent, especially if you are experiencing some discontent within your team. Things such as the questions asked and the format of an interview as well as the on-boarding process are all worth re-visiting and getting feedback from recent cohorts.

If you would like any advice on your hiring process, please feel to give me a call on 0161 438 1930 ext. 1010 or contact me on