How Do You Deal with Underperforming Employees? – Part One

Do you have employees who are under-performing? Well, join the club. This is an issue…

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Do you have employees who are under-performing? Well, join the club. This is an issue that’s faced by almost every organization. Even if you have a thorough multiple-round interview process or an intensive training program, there will be some employees who slip through who will not perform to the level that’s expected of them.

It is absolutely imperative that such an issue is immediately dealt with as not only will it impact the organization’s performance but also affect other employees.

So how do we deal with under-performing employees? How much time do we give them before we want to say, “that’s enough?”

Understand the issue clearly.

As mentioned earlier, such an issue should be confronted head-on as soon as possible. Make the employee sit with you and talk to him/her to get to the root of the problem. There could be many reasons for under-performance.

Is it a question of motivation? Is it lack of interest? Does he/she have the ability and tools to do the job and know what’s expected? Is it a lack of understanding? Did he/she not get enough training? Is it something personal?

Make sure you understand the root cause(s) before taking any other action and make sure you get it right.

Increase the visibility and responsibility of the employee.

Sometimes, when employees have someone to fall back on, they will not feel completely accountable and responsible for their work as they know that whatever they produce will go through several layers before it becomes live.

Remove these safety layers and make them completely accountable for their work. Make them understand the gravity of the situation where getting even the smallest thing wrong will reflect on the whole organization.

Also, increase their visibility within the organization. Give them work that will put them directly in touch with the top management. It is hard to slack off when you are given so much responsibility.

Increase workload and decrease timelines.

Throw work at them. Lots of it. Give them enough work so that they wouldn’t even have time to turn their heads. And give them tighter deadlines. Tell them that they are not supposed to leave till they finish the work. After all, as the old adage goes, you pull out a thorn with a thorn.

We’ll see some more ways to deal with under-performing employees in the next post. Of course, the best way to avoid such an issue is to try and hire the best performers and keep them motivated. Learn more about doing so using a robust HR management solution.

Have more ideas on how to deal with under-performing employees? Leave a comment.

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