You could have given little more information. Is this your idle intellectual curiosity or real life situation? If latter then what is the nature of industry, what is education level of employees? Do the employees have the same designation? If yes, then why they are not elevated? What are their measures of performance? What training is conducted to improve their performance?
Did you plan the career of the employees? Have the competencies of their current designation and future designation are identified? If yes, then are they groomed for future role?
By the way, why alert was not raised sooner their performance slipped?
There are so many questions gentleman. You need to provide the answers then only real solution can be provided.
Dinesh V Divekar
Your sub ordinates are drinking job poison and they have no idea of it. You can easily handle it by inducting more fresh blood. One thing every entrepreneur should know that every productive business needs a healthy mix of fresh and experienced blood.
Dinesh Divekar as asked you relevant questions to which I will add one more; have you come across the term "Industrial Rate buster" I have read about it at Size of Industrial Organisation and Worker Behaviour - Geoffrey K. Ingham - Google Books
The phenomenon that have described is nothing new, it was described by Dalton as far back as 1948.
You have already received good inputs from others i would like to add a little further. The employees who have started underperforming should be put in counselling sessions to come out of the underperforming mentality. Alongwith this coaching and mentoring would also help a lot to improve behaviours.
When the performing employee starts under performing put them on Performance Enhancement Plan.
Hope this helps.
This happens all over the world, when people have secure jobs. My friend, who worked for a local authority in the UK, did not want to learn how to use a computer as he had only 3 years for his retirement. He told me that there was something in it (monetary benefit) for him, he was not going to do more than what he was doing. So, management have to decide to get rid of such people by offering them incentive to leave.
To add to the wonderful suggestions of our esteemed colleagues, do look at the following options also.
1. 360 feedback ascertaining what led these above par performers fair poorly in the recent years. There could be multiple reasons within the organization and or in their personal lives.
2. For people who are near retirement, the above might not apply. Look for people who have similar situation and yet learning new things - ask these guys the reasons and probably use them as role models in your discussion.
3. Still there are people who would not be doing this, make sure these people are far away from the new recruits. Accept them.
Many learned followers have give you many theoretical and practical information about your problem. Here is mine, with my experience.
1. It is just likely that automation has taken place, which has made the competencies of old workers redundant, which they are not ready to accept, instead, they are just trying to escape job/job responsibility OR there is over staffing which allows them to have leisure.
SOLUTION : If 1st is the case, you can arrange for their training to enhance their skill and efficiency. If second is the case, re-organize your manpower, you can transfer employees from one department to another, and put right man on right job. This will result in more output with lesser number of men.
2. There are instances that old employee enjoy job security which makes them somewhat undisciplined and often they throw their job and responsibility on their juniors. SOLUTION : Organize manpower hierarchy, I mean - one very senior, assisted by a few juniors, juniors assisted by 2 or three new employees as per the requirement of job. Put a quantitative target to be achieved during a given point/period of time. Keep regular monitoring. The results are bound to come.
3. If these things fail, it is very likely that some of the seniors might be enjoying backing of their Controlling Officers or they might be representing Unions. In this case you have to handle the issue intelligently, because one wrong step will raise IR problem issues.
This is a very practical problem which deserves attention. With my experience for about 16 years in HR consultancy, this has been an issue faced more than any other issue and many organizations who have been victims of this phenomenon.
This is a lesson to be learnt early in managing the human resources employed. Couple of issues which bring this phenomenon to light / panic is only when organizations feel the need for;
AUTOMATION - a very large resistance develops due to fear of loosing jobs and increments in salary ( loss of overtime wages etc.,
ACQUISITION / SOLD TO A CORPORATE - MIXED FEELINGS - Fear is loss of job, happy within that they may be paid well etc.,
PROFIT DECLINES - WITH INCREASED EFFORTS - This is what brings to limelight the in-efficiency brewing inside the functional departments.
Now, to get rid of this the following inputs are required for the employees & the employers.
1. When globally organizations are working towards profitability through systems, process changes, re-engineering, and innovation within the organization to face the buyers market, we should bring the fear intrinsic in the minds that it is not a change for individuals but a change for the organization itself. Failure to cope can lead to closure. "If this is the case for an organization we are the employees and together we need to survive".--Should be etched in the minds of employees.
2. Performance Management systems, with inclusive learning for additional skills or knowledge should become a part of any growing organization.
3. Appreciation for good skills and applicators knowledge should be welcome and they can become motivators and internal trainers to groom the rest.
4. Today we are concentrating on reverse learning. i.e., application oriented ease at work, and systems which are effective for best results to be taught by seniors to juniors and Juniors to teach and train seniors in new technology or updation required for excellence in line with the market demand.
Well, to implement all this a true HR soul is required with understanding that manpower rightly handled is an asset with multiplied returns.
Wishing all a Happy New Year,