How Do You Deal with Underperforming Employees – Part Two

The last post in this blog series gave you a few ideas on dealing with your under-performing employees. Just to recap, confronting and understanding the issue head-on without any delay, increasing visibility of the employee within the organization, and giving the employee more work under tight deadlines are some of the techniques that you can employ. In this post, we’ll look at some more ways to deal with this issue.

Try them in a variety of roles.

This really is more applicable to those who’ve been hired fresh out of college. They might have been selected for one particular role but might not show much interest/expertise/excellence in it.

Nor might they always know what role suits them best. With such employees, you might want to make them don as many hats as possible till they find their niche.

Say you hired someone with an MBA for a research analyst’s role but he/she shows no aptitude for it. However you noticed that the employee has excellent communication skills and shows natural empathy. Why not try him/her out in a customer-facing role? Say support or business development?

Of course, this is a luxury that might not always be possible. If you are a startup, you might want your employees to perform from day one and indeed take on as many roles as possible, not wait for them to find their place.


Sometimes, despite all the signals and all the efforts, employees simply don’t deliver. Before asking them to leave, give them one final chance. Give them a period, say one month, during which they are to show a change.

Set precise targets and well-defined, quantifiable metrics. Make it clear and unambiguous that unless the employee completely delivers, he/she will be asked to leave. Now or never is really here.

It’s pink slip time.

Well, you’d tried. You tried to do everything in your power to put them on the right track. But sometimes, you just have to bite the bullet and let them go.

Probably an employee lacks talent or interest or both; ultimately your business interests come first. No one can afford to drag dead-weights along for long.

So, here are some more ways you can deal with under-performing employees. Leave a comment to let us know how you deal with under-performing employees in your organization.

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