Doesn’t it drive you mad when terrific, yet underperforming, sales people can’t seem to be focused on their jobs for even an entire day? You know the type. They always have to take their car to be serviced, bring their pets to the vet, meet a contractor, go to the dentist, etc. They never want to use up a vacation day for these tasks as they consider them too valuable to waste. I am not referencing unexpected occurrences here. We all have those to contend with. I am speaking of tasks that an employee should have handled on their unscheduled hours.
Why do you suppose your underperformers are always coming up with things that cause them to take time off? Are those distractions the very reasons why they are underperforming, or are they merely symptoms of their lack of focus, discipline, commitment or work ethic? In any event, it is the manager’s responsibility to limit unproductive distractions.
Tolerating such self-centered behavior creates a very slippery slope for managers. Not only are sales results bound to suffer when focus is lacking, but your dedicated employees will soon grow weary of having to cover for the slacker as well.
Managers, set clear expectations among your staff members, and then enforce them consistently. Doing so is imperative to gaining the respect of those loyal staff members who have demonstrated the ability to place the customer’s needs ahead of their own. Remember that you will always get the job performance that you are willing to accept.