Managing Poor Performance

The goal of managing performance is to continuously advance the work performance of individuals and the organisation and is a way to make sure that employees contribute positively to the objectives of their team as well as the business. Sometimes, employees’ performance can be not quite up to the business’ expectations. The causes for underperforming typically fall into two main categories: lack of ability and lack of motivation.

Lack of Ability

No matter how much an employee wants to complete a task, it will still be impossible if this person lacks the resources to do so (time, money, staff or supplies). Encourage employees to come to you if such problems occur so you can address them as soon as possible.

Employees can also sometimes be delayed by waiting for a decision from a client or a manager, have problems co-operating with another department or other obstacles outside of the employee’s control. You can step in and help find a way to tackle or go around the obstacle to achieve your goal.

Have you ever considered that poor performance can sometimes be a simple lack of skills? Employees are sometimes not ready before they are promoted, or a new set of responsibilities is added to their roles. Make sure employees receive extra training and mentoring where needed to help them improve their performance.

Not setting clear expectations can also be a major cause for poor performance. Make sure to go over project goals and expectations so that there is no confusion or miscommunication.

Lack of motivation

Some employees need to be recognised for their hard work, otherwise, they will begin to slack off. Identify the people that value praise for their work and make sure to let them know when they have done well.

Some employees can, however, feel like they can get away with things if no penalties are set for poor performance, such as turning up late for work. Design a step-by-step series of consequences for poor performance and announce it to your employees before implementing it.

If an employee seems bored or burned out, it’s the manager’s responsibility to help, as the employee’s talents may be just be underutilised. The manager should review the situation with the employee and try to find a way to energise or engage the employee again.

One size does not always fit all when it comes to performance evaluation, but we can help tailor a solution that will work for your business and your people. Ask us how.

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