How to Deal with an Underperforming Team Member with Dr. Sabrina Starling

How do you deal with an underperforming team member? It is a tough, but common, situation for business owners to find themselves. Do you keep them to coach them, or do you let them go? Join Dr. Sabrina as she walks you through this process with clear actions to help you assess their potential for improvement and make the tough decision.

This topic comes from a member of our Mighty Networks community at Tap the Potential. The scenario is that a long-time team member, who has been loyal and critical to the growth of the business, is underperforming and is uncoachable. It is a frustrating position.

Let’s dive into this problematic situation with practical steps to move forward.

Profit by Design is a Tap the Potential Production.

Show Highlights:

  • The cost of keeping underperforming team members, both monetary and the negative impact on your A-players
  • How to identify underperforming team members with regular, one-to-one meetings with all team members
  • Beginning steps to take in deciding whether or not to keep an underperforming team member:
    • Identify clear expectations of performance for this team member.
    • Document those expectations and communicate them to the team member.
  • How to determine if an underperforming team member is coachable
  • How to conduct a simple performance review with a 1-3 rating of expectations
  • How to have the conversation with the team member about the performance review—and deal with the facts
  • How to create a performance improvement plan for the next 4-6 weeks with clear expectations
  • How to recognize that some team members may not be a long-term good fit as your business grows and more systems are put in place
  • How your A-players will react in positive ways when an underperforming team member is let go

Links and Resources:

Sign up for our free workshop, Unlocking Profit Potential: The Power of A-Players and How to Attract Them for 10x Growth. It happens on Thursday, November 16; don’t miss this opportunity!

Master your time and profit for the 4th quarter! Give us 20 minutes of your time, take the Better Business Better Life Assessment, and receive a free paperback copy of my book, The 4 Week Vacation®️.

Learn more about our courses, Coach Approach and Leadership Bootcamp at

Our Better Business Better Life Jumpstart can help your profitability in every way. Sign up today!

Join the Tap the Potential Community on Mighty Networks:

Let us help you and your business! Book a call with us today!

Let us help you manage your time, your most valuable resource! Get your FREE copy of the Tap the Potential Strategic Planner for 2023 at

Download Dr. Sabrina’s Introductory Training: How to Make Your Time Worth $10,000 an Hour

About The Author

Dr. Sabrina Starling, The Business Psychologist and international best-selling author of the How to Hire the Best series and The 4 Week Vacation™, is the founder of Tap the Potential and host of the Profit by Design podcast. At Tap the Potential, we work to free business owners from the constant demands of a growing business.

We believe work supports life, not the other way around. Clients in our Better Business, Better Life coaching program have more time for what matters most and more money in their bank account than they’ve ever had. Next, we send them off on a 4 Week Vacation™ to celebrate their hard-earned journey to take their life back!

Dr. Sabrina and her team at Tap the Potential are on a mission to change the story of entrepreneurship from one of long hours, grinding it out, to one of sustainably profitable businesses that support and enhance life. The Tap the Potential Solution™ and our Tap the Potential Family of Business Owners are disrupting small business as usual. We are on our way to making the Tap the Potential Solution™ the mainstream model for growing business.

By 2023, 150 Tap the Potential clients will have taken 4 Week Vacations. These are the trailblazers, role modeling what’s possible for entrepreneurs. In many entrepreneurial circles, it is becoming more and more common for one entrepreneur to ask another, “Have you taken a 4 Week Vacation™?” (as opposed to asking “How many employees do you have?” or “What is your annual revenue?”). Taking a fully unplugged 4 Week Vacation is rapidly becoming the recognized symbol of entrepreneurial success.

Never one to accept the status quo or back down from a challenge, Dr. Sabrina’s How to Hire the Best series grew from her desire to solve the toughest hiring challenges interfering with her clients’ growth and profitability. What sprang from her experience working with entrepreneurs in rural areas catapulted her into becoming the world’s leading expert in attracting top talent in small businesses—no matter what hiring challenges those businesses are facing—and earned Tap the Potential’s reputation as the go-to resource for entrepreneurs committed to creating Great Places to Work with thriving coaching cultures and highly engaged team members working from strengths.

As The Business Psychologist, and with her years of driving profit in small businesses, Dr. Sabrina knows what it takes to find, keep, and motivate exceptional performance out of your biggest investment—team members.