Under performance in the workplace may be the biggest risk to the success of business across the globe.. Much of which is due to adults that have been diagnosed with ADHD. The cost is staggering. Income and productivity losses in the U.S. could be as high $87 to $138 billion.
Thus, it’s a subject in need of being addressed. It can no longer be the elephant in the room. Corporate America has a rather large blind spot as well. That elephant and the blind spot include the loss of corporate revenue due to underutilized human capital. Significant numbers of employees are underperforming and not living up to their potential. These people are often referred to as “difficult employees” because they aren’t meeting job expectations or are weak team players.
It would be easy if the solution was simply to remove these employees from your workforce. But that’s impossible and not recommended. Yes, ADHD is a disability and should be treated as such. Yet, the biggest reason you should keep these employees is because they are often the most brilliant and creative minds. With the right support and tools, they can also be productive and high performing. There are easy and cost-effective solutions to help them shift certain. These practices are often overlooked or considered too difficult to execute.
Difficult employees + lost potential = lost profits.
This is a no brainer for most. This formula is understood. The part not understood seems to be that the solution to underperforming employees is getting the right kind of help. When children aren’t performing well academically, it’s customary to find a tutor for assistance. Why would it be different with employees? You initially hired them because they possessed the right stuff for the company. When they begin to experience some performance issues, it’s not the time to cut the cord; it’s an opportunity to address the issues and get them back on track.
Remove the blind spot
Conventional thinking is off when it comes to this issue, and the blind spot is clear. It’s merely a guess at the profit and market share possible if the problem of difficult employees was addressed from a different perspective.
In most companies, supervisors and managers spend significant time disciplining employees. Discipline could include warnings or demotions. This approach has been shown to be a poor motivator. It usually produces the opposite of the effect desired. Instead of getting the employee to “shape up,” this approach has a demoralizing effect. Research has shown that using discipline and negative reinforcement to get workers to perform better, actually ensures they will perform worse. In the end, their contribution is lost.
There is a way to change your perspective on under performers. The first thing to do is understand that many of these folks likely have ADD or ADHD. Consequently, this is a different way of seeing and doing things as compared to linear thinking.
In other words, their very smart brain works differently. This does not make them less capable or valuable. Just the opposite is true, they are likely to be the more valuable employees in the company. So, although they can be challenging when it comes to retaining focus, organizing tasks, planning ahead, and following through. They are often so valuable because they see the big picture. Visionaries is often a great term to describe them. They often come up with game changing ideas and solutions.
To retain these folks who have great potential but are under performing, look at them from the perspective of “What do they need in order to perform to their potential?” Stop looking at them from the perspective of being a liability because their minds work differently than others.
The truth is, there are solutions that require little investment and time. These are proven techniques that help those with ADHD flourish. Learn more about these solutions and finding a new perspective on under performance in the workplace with our Highly Effective Workplace program. We’ll also continue on this topic of addressing under performance in the workplace, talking next about insights to action.