Tips to manage underperforming employees

If you’re a manager, you’re going to come across underperforming employees or maybe even teams at some point. There’s going to be that one person who just doesn’t get the job done. It is one of the greatest challenges of being a manager, whereas one of the greatest skills as a manager is being able to transform an underperforming employee or team into an adequately performing, or better yet, exemplary employee.

In addition to creating a satisfactory employee, with this skill, you’ll be able to save the company the money, time and hassle associated with firing and hiring an employee. Another benefit is that by creating an atmosphere where underperforming employees are motivated, other employee who sees this are likely to perceive this as a pro of the company, motivating them to be more loyal in return.

These tips can help you manage underperforming employees:

Set Expectations

Sometimes the cause of an underperforming employee might simply be a misunderstanding in regards to what they are expected to do and achieve. There’s an easy solution to this – make sure the hiring and onboarding process for new employees is clear about what the job entails and what the employee is expected to do. Be as clear and detailed as possible.

Have precise job specifications so the candidate or employees know specifically what their performance is evaluated against. This will erase any confusion when it An employee might have been hired without the necessary skills for the role or the role has evolved. These gaps need to be filled with the necessary the employee understanding their job and you managing their work.

Do Performance Reviews

Performance reviews should be held on a regular basis. An underperforming employee might not even be aware they are not performing as per expectations. Regular reviews are a great way to bring this to an employee’s attention.

A review shouldn’t just be you telling the employee what they’re doing wrong. It should be an honest two-way dialogue on how to improve performance. Ask questions about what the employee thinks the expectations are and what problems he or she is having to meet such expectation. Give him or her the driver’s seat to discuss problem areas and find solutions together. End the performance review with performance goals for the future and a plan to achieve those goals.

Provide Training

Many cases of underperformance is directly a result of preparedness and training. An employee might have been hired without adequate skills for the role. Alternatively, there might have been a shift in the role that requires the employee to possess additional skills. These things need to be taken into account and proper training needs to be provided to fill in these skill gaps.

Give Employees Ownership

Motivate your employees to take charge of what they’re doing. Give them a sense of purpose within the company by helping them build a sense of ownership of their work. A simple attitude adjustment can be the trick to transforming an underperforming employee. Get them to see how their success and the company’s success are intertwined. This will spark a positive change in how they see their work.

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