Workforce reboots an extreme but sometimes necessary solution

Executives should make time for their best employees instead of solely addressing problems caused by underperforming workers.
Executives should make time for their best employees instead of solely addressing problems caused by underperforming workers.

Executives are likely to replace their company's old technologies, such as archaic computers, without much thought. So, why do so many executives hesitate when it comes to replacing employees whose future contributions to a company cannot be salvaged?

For businesses that require this type of reform, employees may not have the necessary talents to respond to changes in a particular industry or adapt to emerging technologies. They may also be burned out from menial tasks and unable to remain engaged with the responsibilities of the job.

Fast food restaurant Wendy's is facing this problem. In January, after assessing the company's lagging performance relative to its competitors, CEO Emil Brolick announced plans to reboot the company. Brolick appears willing to embrace what Ere.net author John Sullivan refers to as "chaotic change," in which hurried and substantial reforms are pursued to save an organization.

Wendy's employees and managers will all be re-interviewed by their superiors to assess whether they are equipped to handle new, more stringent workplace standards. Only workers who meet this criteria will be permitted to stay with the company.

In general, when executives comb through their companies to assess employee performance, they are forced to devote time to underperforming workers instead of those who are thriving. To avoid turnover of these successful workers, executives must keep all employees engaged with a company.

"Twenty percent of your employees monopolize most of your time," author Jeff Haden told Inc.com. "It's natural to spend more time with struggling or poor performers. It's also draining. Take a different approach and spend a few hours with your best employees."

Companies with an abundance of poor performers may need to launch a global executive search conducted by a retained executive search firm to find C-level talent currently employed at another organization. These new leaders may have the courage to conduct a workforce reboot, or at least the innovation necessary to come to an acceptable solution for all involved parties.