Why Team Members with Weak C.O.R.E. Underproduce

Do you have a team member capable of your performance standards, yet they fail to hit the goal?

Your team member is smart. Technically, the team member is well trained. On paper, the team member should be able to meet expectations. Despite the ability, the team member continues to fail.

Why is this the Case with so Many Technicians, Sales Professionals, and CSRs? 

From my experience, team members fail to hit expectations for a few internal and external reasons.

The External Reasons a Team Member Fails:

Here are a few reasons outside of the team members control that can cause failure:

  • A non-existent sales culture
  • Poor leadership
  • Flawed Systems and Procedures

There are other reasons, but those are the top 3 external reasons IMHO.

For today’s example, let’s adopt the idea that this team member works for a good company. So, let’s turn the focus inward.

The Internal Reasons a Team Member Fails:

In my coaching with underperforming team members, I have discovered a coming trend amongst the low producers. I’ve labeled this trend “CORE.”  

Underperforming team members have a weak CORE.

Successful team members have a strong CORE.

Coachable, Open, Respectful, and Excepting of Responsibility.

If a team member can strengthen their CORE, then they can typically meet or exceed the company standards. If they cannot strengthen their CORE, then they will most likely be a drag on culture, sales, and leadership.

The key to CORE is that the team member must understand that these areas are up to them to improve.

  1. Coachable: a coachable person listens with an open mind, asks questions that create personal clarity, and applies what has been taught. 
  2. Open: a person who is open doesn’t hide the real issues they are facing. They don’t misdirect the real issues. They allow others to understand them and seeks to understand others. 
  3. Respectful:  a person that shows respect understands that they receive respect. Since no person is perfect, respect is a thing that is given to imperfect people. This means that all people should receive a base level of respect. From that base level, we add value to people for what they do well. 
  4. Excepting of Responsibility: Taking responsibility gives a person freedom. When you accept responsibility for your actions and your outcomes, then you free yourself from excuses. Excuses provide a person with no benefit. Excuses dampen your personal potential.
Showing a Team Member their CORE

Reviewing the Keys of CORE with a team member can be a super helpful experience. It can awaken the reality that success is a personal responsibility.

Sometimes, you will only have to review CORE with an underperforming team member once. These team members are ready to strengthen their CORE.

More likely, you will have to work on the CORE items with an underperforming team member on multiple occasions. It takes time for a person to change their outlook on themselves.

Will the Team Member Change Their CORE?

I don’t know.

In my opinion, I’d say you have a less than 50% chance that the team member will strengthen their CORE. It’s more likely that they are stuck in their old bad habits.

“So, what do I do?” you may be asking me.

You try to coach the team member through CORE. If you can’t do it, then give me a call. I can help.

If after a set amount of time and money the team member doesn’t change, then you make a decision about the employment of the team member with your company.


Todd Liles is the CEO of Service Excellence.

Service Roundtable is dedicated to growing your bottom line and helping your business maximize its full potential. These groups of contractors work together to assist you with marketing, sales, business, and so much more. Twice a month, seminars around the United States and Canada are held to network and further assist your business. Visit Service Roundtable.com to see if there are Success Days in your area.

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