IES Blog

Dealing with Underperforming Employees

Posted on January 8th, 2016 Read time: 2 minutes

An underperforming employee demoralizes colleagues and decreases your company’s productivity. Because this person was originally hired based on their skills, experience, and attitude, it’s important you learn to reengage the worker to help both them and your bottom line.

  • Give Feedback

Ensure the employee knows their responsibilities within the organization, why they’re important, and when their tasks need to be completed. Without clearly defined expectations, a worker cannot reach production goals efficiently. Explain how your team members’ performance affects everyone else, which in turn affects job security, promotions, recognition, credibility, working on new projects, and monetary rewards. Detail how you would like their behavior to change in order to meet output goals.

  • Listen

Let your staff member give their reasons for underperformance. Perhaps their work is constantly being interrupted by others, causing delays in finishing tasks. Maybe they’re not equipped with the right people, software, budget, or other resources make time management effecient. Find out the root of the problem so you can help with a solution.

  • Address Concerns

If a staff member mentions a concern that affects other team members, such as feeling overburdened by their workload, address it quickly. Schedule a meeting with members of the involved departments to discuss the issue. Find out what needs improvement and how the team can facilitate those changes. Remind everyone to speak openly and honestly, since it will help everyone perform their jobs better. You’ll provide more stability for staff, keep communication lines open, recognize workers for their contributions, and boost morale.

  • Create Performance Goals

Involve the staff member in creating solutions for reaching performance targets. Find out what new skills they want to learn and how they want to achieve their goals. Ensure the root cause of each problem is taken care of with your solutions. Make sure goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-framed, or SMART. Provide frequent feedback, training, a mentor, or any other support needed to achieve output targets.

  • Follow Up

Ensure you monitor your employees’ progress regularly, and that goals are being accomplished on time. Hold your staff members accountable for their output. Showing interest and providing structure will boost his morale and encourage them to reach performance levels. They’ll see you are serious about their output and will adjust their performance accordingly.

  • Recognize Improvement

Praise accomplishments and meeting targeted performance goals as they occur. A simple “thank you” or “well done” is highly effective in motivating a worker to continue meeting or exceeding expectations. Financial incentives may work as well, as long as you continue to verbally appreciate your employees’ work. Always reinforce the actions you want repeated.

By keeping an underperforming employee informed, showing their opinions matter, and involving them in changes and improvements, they’ll feel acknowledged as a valuable team member and want to improve output. For help with meeting all your business goals, contact Innovative Employee Solutions today!

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