5 Effective Ways to Handle Underperforming Employees

Performance Management 5 Effective Ways to Handle Underperforming Employees

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Talking about employee performance

As a manager or CEO, it is not a blue moon instance when one or several employees underperform. Some managers tend to ignore this problem and hope that it fades away. However, that is not a good idea, as the problem may more likely increase. Nevertheless, how do you deal with a staff that performs way below their abilities? It is imperative to understand that an underperforming employee may derail others from working effectively – laziness is contagious. 

Here are five effective ways to handle underperforming employees: 

Understand the problem that led to underperformance 

In most cases, employees do not start underperforming out of the blue. It is a result of a catalyst either at work or at home. You need to evaluate what the problem is before knowing how to handle the situation. 

Especially when the underperformance has appeared suddenly at work, rather than taking place for several instances, most likely, the employee has a personal or job-related issue. Invite him or her into your office and have a chat about what the problem may be. Make sure that they are free to tell you anything. 

Some of the typical personal problems that lead to underperformance include relationship instabilities, new child, illnesses from the spouse or kids, mental wellbeing, and several others. Unless it is a very huge happening, most of these cases take a short while, and the employee will be back to their ordinary selves. 

On the other hand, the problem may be work-induced from colleagues or management.  A papersowl review suggests to find out from the individual if they are facing any bullying from their bosses, harassments, or other workplace squabbles. In case it is work-related, you can easily handle it by conversing with the colleague who is causing the problem. As for personal issues, you may suggest counseling. 

Know what motivates your employees 

Dealing with your staff once you learn what motivates them is significantly easier. Take time and try to understand your employees better. This is best done at individual levels since all of them differ. Once you know what gives them the impetus to work, then you are on the right track to handling their underperformance. 

You can use whatever that motivates them to encourage each one of them to work even harder. For example, if a job trip drives a majority of the staff, you can promise them one if they meet a particular goal. This type of incentive will help them work harder while simultaneously creating exceptional dedication and drive. 

`This will also help you assign each employee the right roles. Some may not love to sit at the front office while others do. Make sure that everyone is sorted according to what makes him or her comfortable. This will increase their performance` – says the managers at the HR software department. 

Reward improvements 

Who doesn’t like being celebrated or appreciated? Your staff will love the fact that you appreciate their efforts. Occasionally, take your time to identify the best performing workers and give them rewards. This will motivate others to try to achieve the feat, and boost productivity as a side effect.

One great way to do this is to have the employee of the month/year award. This will get every staff struggling to get the title. Besides, make sure that the title comes with special perquisites and benefits that they wouldn’t want to miss. 

In addition, you can try to figure out a way of promoting the best-performing workers to higher positions. In most cases, employees do not work hard or perform under par due to the lack of proper motivation. Be different in your company and wait to see the results. 

Organizing trips is an equally great way of motivating your staff to improve their performance. You can also plan for team-building events that have them working together to achieve different goals. 

Leverage on active listening 

Do not always be a hard nut to crack. Let your employees know that they can comfortably reach you whenever they have an issue. Being a sulky and ever serious boss does not guarantee you a slot at the boss of the year awards. On the contrary, treating workers right and being there when they need you will. 

Your employees should easily confide in you when they have personal and work-related issues. This is where active listening will help you a great deal. In essence, it is one of the best mechanisms to deal with underperformance. Listen to the problems workers face attentively, as you ask them questions. Afterward, you can attempt to get solutions together – not all alone like the boss. This will help to create long-lasting solutions to fundamental issues. 

You can organize company meetings regularly to listen to these concerns. Sometimes employees do not need much to improve their performance. All they need is to know that they have a caring boss who listens to their problems. This will guarantee you a significant boost in performance from all of them. 

Improve their working conditions 

This is something the human resources manager at the company should advise. Evaluate the needs of your staff in terms of working conditions. Are their working conditions standard or deplorable? Would you work in such circumstances if they placed you there? You need to ask yourself such rhetorical questions, as you attempt to improve working conditions. 


Wrapping up, you have seen what it takes to deal with underperforming employees. This is a prime issue facing many companies all over the globe. However, by using the right techniques, you can deal with underperformance and boost productivity. 

Author Bio 

Kurt Walker has been working as an editor and a copywriter at AustralianWritings, Best Essays, and uk.bestessays.com in London for three years. He is also a professional content writer, who provides resume help and journalist in such topics as inspiration, productivity, education, technologies, and assignment help where he worked at Superior paper writing service and Easyessay.org.

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