No Image Available

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

How to Manage an Under-performing Employee


Every successful manager needs to learn how to deal with underperforming employees at some point in their career. Unfortunately, some of them will act emotionally and create an even bigger issue. Decreased productivity will negatively affect the growth of the company and HR professionals should do everything in their power to prevent it. There are a number of great ways to motivate employees and boost their performance, and the text below will provide you with some of the most effective ones. 

Start with yourself

A lot of issues emerge because management wasn’t clear about their expectations. This miscommunication can often result in low performance, and that’s the reason why you should ask yourself a couple of questions before blaming the employees. All employees must be explicitly told what is expected from them and what are the repercussions for underperformance. In addition, every staff member should be provided with training materials and regular training sessions. Once you’ve done all of these, you can be confident about their understanding of their position, and that’s the moment when you can feel free to address their bad performance. 

Don’t be emotional

As mentioned above, emotional confrontation won’t solve any problems. The underperforming employee is already feeling bad about their results and the emotional argument is the last thing they need. Try to keep calm and be rational about this issue. Ask them what the problem is and offer your help in order to resolve it. Support is a much better strategy for improving someone’s productivity, so go ahead and try that method.

Try to address underperformance ASAP

If you see that some employees are underperforming and you choose to wait, you’ll send them a message that their behavior is acceptable, and others might imitate similar behavior. Avoid dealing with the whole office, but act quick and speak with the underperforming employee as soon as you can. Set up a head-to-head meeting and try to solve the issue. You should mostly listen during these meeting since your goal is to hear out the reasons for underperformance. Once you hear their side, try to help them and let them know what is expected of them during their shift. 

Understand employee’s motivation

It is really hard to manage employees if you’re not informed about their goals and aspirations. Every person has different motivation and you as a manager should know what keeps your employees going. Ask them about their long-term goals and life plans. Once you get their answers, think about ways of assisting them with it so they can be more relaxed and focused during their work hours. Keep in mind that money can motivate people for a limited period of time, so try to avoid this type of motivation. Of course, sometimes the raise will be the right move.

Provide appropriate training

The reason for underperformance can be insufficient knowledge and set of skills. In order to boost productivity with some of the employees, you’ll need to offer them a proper training and education. For example, if someone from the business administration sector is not confident about their skills, help them to earn a Diploma of Business Administration so they can feel better and deliver better results. People positively respond to titles and achievements, so go ahead and invest in your employees’ education.  

Ask for feedback

Managing employees is a two-way road, so if you want to deal with underperformance, you should talk with employees about the management. Ask them how they see your position and performance so you can get better as well. Once they see you’re willing to change, there’s a great chance they will adjust their behavior as well. Forget about your vanity and accept every constructive criticism. 

Final thoughts

Every company is as strong as their weakest member, so try to find them and make them better. This will be possible only if you are open-minded, calm and tactical. You should always have your employee’s wellbeing on your mind in order to motivate them to increase their productivity. Talk to them regularly and start solving issues as soon as they emerge. 

No Image Available

Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.


Thank you!