If you have underperformers in your organization, they fall into one of two categories: they either lack the will or the skill to succeed. Those who lack the will are simply unwilling to do what it takes to increase their production. However, other loan officers lack the skill, meaning they want to improve but don’t know how. These are the people who haven’t been trained, pushed, or held accountable. The industry assumes that if someone is in the industry for five years, they should have the experience they need to be successful. However, five years of bad practices won’t improve anyone’s business. Instead, they’ve just built bad habits that keep them from reaching their potential. If a manager is going to grow their team’s production, they need to identify the people who are eager to improve but haven’t been given the proper tools to do so.
When you are talking to your underperformers, start with a question. Ask them, “Are you pleased with where you are?” If they say they are not, pivot the conversation to their future. Find out what kind of business they’d like to be doing. If their reply is something along the lines of, “I’m currently at two units and would like to be doing four,” ask why this goal is important to them. LOs need to identify their “why,” determining the reason that improvement is necessary for them both professionally and personally. When they are open to this conversation and can say, “I’m not at my best, I need to get better, and this is the reason why,” you can assume that this is a person who lacks the skill, not the will. They are ready and willing to change. Now, you as the manager can begin the process of developing them into the producer they aspire to be.
Check back next week to learn more about how you can transform the underperformers in your company into performing loan officers!