ROM can be expressed as the following equation: ROM = Productive energy released divided by management time and attention invested.
While the ROM ratio indicates that those who deliver mediocre performance and lack initiative deserve the least attention, you cannot ignore them. Instead, you must take the time up front to identify who the C players are, and then take decisive action.
Failing to address your low-performing employees can have a detrimental effect on the organization’s performance. These individuals often:
- Stand in the way of the advancement of more talented employees
- Hire other C players, which lowers the performance bar across the board
- Tend to be poor role models who encourage a low-performer mentality among their peers and direct reports
- Engender a culture of mediocrity which repels highly talented and ambitious people
The second step: move them up—or out
Generally speaking, the strategy for addressing C players centers on performance. The first step is to try to move them up to an acceptable performance level. To do this, managers must:
- Create a prescribed path and timeline for achieving those goals.
- Be explicit about the ways in which they must improve.
- Be willing to coach and provide candid feedback.
Dismissing C players
Before dismissing an employee, you’ll want to be sure that dismissing the person is the right thing to do, or if you have any other recourse. If you have exhausted your options, make sure you have the correct documentation both of the employee’s performance or behavior problems and the steps you’ve taken to help him or her improve. Finally, you’ll also want to consult with your legal and human resources departments regarding the dismissal regulations unique to your situation.