Performance: Suddenly Unacceptable

What causes an employee to lose their way? When someone that has been committed to the company and given 110% effort for years, gradually loses their enthusiasm, what options does the employer have?

Of course, if noticed in time, it may be necessary have a fact-finding conversation with the employee that may or may not lead to clues. The employee likely realizes that things have changed although he/she may not be willing to do forensics on the cause.

Consider these things that can cause fatigue or loss of enthusiasm:

  • Change in technology without adequate training and follow-up support
  • Management changes – often time styles of communication are different so the messages may be less positive or reassuring or there may be an assumption that the long-term employee doesn’t need feedback
  • Have meeting attendee lists changed that might cause the employee to feel left out (even though they may no longer need to attend)?
  • Changes in expectations or job descriptions that have not been documented so the employee may feel that no one notices the additional workload
  • Was a coworker recognized or promoted? Sometimes an employee won’t understand why he/she was not recognized—again, communication is the ticket
  • Has the work become boring? Has the employee had any challenging assignments recently?
  • Does the employee have a “best friend” at work? Studies show that employees are happier when they have a friend at work.
  • Has the employee been given an opportunity to grow or learn something new?

Bottom line…almost everyone wants to know his/her work matters.

Does the employee know how their work fits into the overall mission and annual goals? If not, help them set stretch goals for the next six weeks…and then the next six weeks, etc., so they can realize how important their work is to the organization.

For ideas on engaging employees, conducting performance reviews, setting goals, or retaining top employees, give us a call or visit our website or email to discuss your particular situation.

For now, take the high road and invest in your employee. Set goals and deliberately seek to retain your top performers.


New Employees

New Employee Not Working Out?

Does this sound familiar? “I just want to hire a qualified person who wants to be here, who loves the work, and will do whatever needed to accomplish the job!”

Employers can forget that it takes time to learn a position enough to “love” it.

The employee wants to meet the employer’s expectations – no one wants to fail!

The relationship between the employer and the employee begins in the interview, then continues through on-boarding, the first day, the first quarter, the first year… with each new phase requiring different levels of training, coaching, input, and feedback. If there is a weak link, such as a mediocre manager, don’t expect the employee to outperform employer expectations. If the manager has not been trained to nurture knowledge, growth, and courage on the tough days, the employee may think mediocre is the expectation.

When an employer is disappointed in the performance of a new employee, it’s beneficial to reflect on the following questions:

  • What training was promised in the interview?
  • Was the new employee given a “go to” person for questions?
  • Was the on-boarding process a positive one for the employee—and was feedback given?
  • What unforeseen circumstances or events changed after the employee accepted the position?
  • Did the employee’s job description change?
  • What feedback has been given to the employee? Is it documented?
  • Has HR met with the employee to check the “happiness” quotient?
  • Does the employee have all the needed tools and information to do the job?

Every step is easier if there is a process in place. Managers are generally accountable for many things, and a new employee takes time to develop. If a reasonable process is in place, it becomes second nature/easier to follow the steps listed above (thereby reducing risks associated with hiring, wrongful terminations, etc.).

Ongoing training in interviewing, on-boarding, continuing to have crucial conversations, mentoring, and developing employees is the only path to identifying and retaining significant contributors for your team.

For more information on any of the above topics, please visit our website or email to discuss specific challenges.

For now, remember the most important thing is to hire the most qualified individuals for your team and give them an opportunity to shine! Happy Hiring!



  • Partnering in a strategic manner with CEOs to address concerns related, but not limited to:
    • People – Recruiting and retaining the right talent is important for any organization. These steps include:
      • Designing processes to ensure compliance in recruiting, interviewing, and selecting candidates.
      • Updating an existing, or designing a new, performance review system that uniquely fits the culture of the company.
      • Providing guidance on whether weekly, monthly, or quarterly reviews are most effective for their group.
      • Training managers on how to conduct honest and productive employee reviews with the guidance and encouragement needed to ensure success in their position. Failure to train managers on acceptable standards of performance and conduct is a sure recipe for expanding company risk.
      • Giving (legally) defensible feedback and preparing proper documentation. This step is a critical risk management process and will be invaluable should there be a future discrimination or harassment complaint.
    • Policies – Having policies in place will provide guidelines and help the company administer consistently to all employees. Clear and fair policies protect the company and the employee, and will help the company avoid repeat occurrences and misunderstandings. Keeping policies up-to-date with changing practices is one important way to provide good guidance and protection. Manager training is critical since policies must always match practices!
    • Processes – Including onboarding, providing feedback on performance, and a career path with a training plan that leads the employee to success, are just a few of the must-do tasks. In addition, managing workflow and outcomes, celebrating successes and analyzing disappointments will encourage employees to continually look for improvement in efficiencies.
    • Performance – Once a candidate is selected and hired, the next steps set the working relationship. The successful employer wishes to have an engaged, qualified employee who can handle what must be done to accomplish the job. The employee who is “all in” wants to meet the employer’s expectations. It is important for the manager to create a positive environment and give balanced feedback, positive and negative, focusing on the job, not the person. This begins by asking questions and allowing the employee to provide feedback. Consider any obstacles that prevented the employee from accomplishing their goals; if performance improvement is needed, discuss methods and objectives for improving. When an employee grows, teams become strong in trust relationships, confidence in each other, and overall engagement occurs, resulting in the growth of the company.success image
  • We are DEDICATED to Partnering with the heavy concerns. We work with the CEO to analyze the “now” situation, determine the desired outcome, review how we got to “this point,” and then create an implementation plan that will result in the desired outcome. It’s easy to feel alone and hesitant to make the tough decisions. We have walked through many tough situations and bring our experience to your table. Together we discuss options and the best method for implementing decisions. DEDICATED will continue to be present as needed when the time for change finally comes.

With Gratitude

On December 15, 2017, we begin our 29th year in business.


It’s natural to reflect on the road traveled, the people who believed in us in the early years and, again, as we deliberately changed our business model several years ago from a full recruiting service to serving as trusted advisors to CEOs who were dealing with challenges related to people, processes and performance.


We are grateful:

  • For the trust and confidence clients have in our ability to listen, make recommendations and implement solutions.


  • Our clients understand that our only agenda is to help them reach the resolution that best fits their situation.


  • Our clients set the example for how employees should be valued; i.e., given the opportunity to grow, give clear and honest feedback, seek to maintain safe and harassment-free workplaces, etc. Their deliberate and strategic plans for growth give employees confidence that the company is stable and respected in their industry.


  • For the trust extended to us as we coach a new or struggling manager


  • That our clients have a desire and commitment to stay compliant with employment laws such as the ADA, FMLA, FCRA, background checks, E-Verify, and many, many others.


We are humbled and grateful that our clients continue to refer their colleagues to us—which allows our portfolio of “best clients in the world” to keep expanding! We are eager to see what 2018 brings!Group Thanks




Refusing to Fail

How many times have you found yourself frustrated with customer service in one industry or another? Perhaps it is happening within the very company that employs you.

In 1989, after working in Human Resources for some time, Blanche Pearsall, then a single, working mother of two, found herself frustrated with:

  • The restrictions on how services were being provided to clients
  • The ever-changing bonus-plan ceilings
  • Managers who did not know the industry
  • The limitations of her own future income.

Blanche knew that she could provide better service to clients than the other companies she worked for because she actually loved the interaction and challenge of matching needs with the right people. Additionally, Blanche felt as though she could generate more income because of the level of service she could provide to clients, which would better provide for her own children.

When asked what the vision was for DEDICATED Professional Resources when she began, Blanche said that the day-to-day interaction with clients was the passion that fueled her in the early days. While the thought may have been lurking on some level, failure was never an option. Most Mothers would agree that they would do whatever it took to provide for their children, and when Blanche stepped off of the proverbial cliff, she knew she had no choice but to land on her feet.

A successful startup cannot happen without due diligence. Dr. Walter Jones was the head of the Winston-Salem Small Business Incubator and believed in Blanche long before she started DEDICATED. One of the most beneficial pieces of wisdom that he shared was to start small and lean; do not spend money on furniture or anything else that would not generate revenue. By following his advice, and her own drive, Blanche was running a profitable business in just three months!

In hindsight, there are some changes that Blanche would have made, which will be addressed soon in another post, but there is no doubt that the future is bright for DEDICATED Professional Resources as ten to twelve years after its start, DEDICATED was invited to evolve into forming business-advising relationships, serving fast-growth, mid-sized companies throughout the country.