How to Manage Employees’ Low Performance

One of the great challenges of the organization leaders is managing employees’ low performance. Leaders must interact with a variety of people, including those who fail to perform; they must work with less adaptable people, with difficult to motivate individuals and to inspire reliability. Employees do not belong to a homogeneous group; groups will always be made up of different people, both concerning their ability to work, and regarding personality and this cannot be changed overnight, but requires patience and strategic thinking.

When one or more employees fail to deliver the desired results you need to evaluate the causes that led to this situation. Performance is based on skills and level of motivation. An individual’s ability lies in his capacity to achieve something and deliver the work they perform as required, which includes the organization’s needs. On the other hand, the desire and motivation derive from the dedication of a person to do a particular thing as good as possible. If one of these elements is missing or it’s too less pronounced, the chances to have a low-performance employee are high.

So, before seeking for a solution to employees’ low performance, we must find out what lies behind it, if there’s a lack of motivation or a lack of particular skills, to see what corrective measures need to be taken to rectify the situation. Lack of competencies can be viewed in the inability of an individual to cope with certain requirements, lack of knowledge, efforts resulting in poor effects, and a lack of improvement over time. Such situations occur when the position is inappropriate for the employee, when he is promoted to a job that’s too demanding for his experience or when he is no longer having the support it needs.

Lack of Ability or Lack of Motivation

When poor performance is based on the employee’s lack of ability to cope with the job requirements and not on the lack of motivation, a first step that can be taken it is the allocation of more resources to help him have better results. He could be included in training and professional development programs, and if these measures do not work, you can give the employee the opportunity to occupy another position within the organization. All these actions must be accompanied by an honest communication and constant feedback from both directions, and if none of the measures listed above have the desired effect, then you can take into consideration the employee’s dismissal.

As already stated, poor performance may have behind also a poor motivation. In this case, you need to create an exciting work environment so that employees will want to give their best. Also, it’s required setting performance targets so that employees understand the organization’s expectations and discuss what is needed to achieve these objectives. Equally, there must be a periodic performance assessment, to provide the information and resources that employees need to progress, to encourage them and to recognize their merits when you notice some improvement.

In conclusion, managing low employee performance should be based on constant communication with them, talking about the expectations that you have. Before determining what to do further, it is better to hear also the needs that the employee has because among them you could find issues that not even a leader has considered so far. Feedback is vital throughout the improvement process, and the organization’s support through colleagues, training sessions or resources is imperative to get results. Finally, do not forget that encouragement also has a beneficial effect and that it’s worth recognizing and rewarding any progress.


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