Have you ever managed employees who were clearly underperforming? Unfortunately, poor performance of one employee can negatively affect other employees in the organization and have poor impact on the overall organizational performance. To help poor performers become high performers, managers need to identify the root cause of the problem. Even though it is easy to conclude that poor performance is a result of inadequate training, this is not always the case. In fact, motivation often plays key role in poor performance. So, what are some ways to remedy the problem?
First, mangers need to carefully diagnose the root cause. If you notice that your employee lacks knowledge or skills in certain areas, you may consider assigning a mentor or offering a training course. However, if you suspect that the root cause of failing performance is motivation, you will have to work together with the employee to create a motivating environment through setting up performance goals, providing regular assessment to employees, and offering both formal and informal feedback along the way.
When meeting with the employee, it is important that he/she understands that you have all the intentions to help him/her improve performance. Oftentimes, employees simply do not know what is expected of them; therefore, as soon as they review the expectations and objectives, their performance improves. In addition to ability and motivation, there is yet another reason why employees may not perform as well as expected. They may simply have external problems that are unrelated to their work environment that are precluding them from adequate on the job performance. If you discover that the real reason behind poor performance is personal, ask the employee about a timeframe that they think will be needed to resolve their problems, and check back with them when their estimated time period is over. While some problems may require a lot of time to resolve, you, as a manger, should make sure you know the root cause and offer your remedy around it.
All in all, to handle poor performance effectively, it is important to consider the needs of your employees, provide frequent and thorough feedback, and show your genuine interest in helping your employee.