Telling the truth about SME life today

How To Deal With Poor Performing Employees

Poor Performing Employees

Poor performing employees can be a huge issue for any business. They can cause decreased productivity, poor quality of work, and even behavioural problems. It is important to recognise the signs of poor performance early on and take action to improve the situation.

In this article, we will discuss how to deal with poor performing employees. We will look at the signs that you should watch out for, and the steps you can take to improve their performance.

Recognise the Signs of Poor Performance

This can include things like decreased productivity, poor quality of work, or bad behaviour. If you see any of these signs, it’s important to investigate further and find out why the employee is performing poorly. This will enable you to decide on the best course of action to take to effectively address the issue.

Understand the Common Causes of Poor Performance

There are various reasons why your employees may be performing poorly but some of the most common causes are:

Skills Gaps

If the issue is decreased productivity, it may be due to a skills gap. The employee may not have the necessary skills to do the job properly. If this is the case, you can provide extra training or coaching to help them improve their performance.

Unclear Instructions

This issue often leads to poor quality of work. Your employee may not know what they are supposed to be doing, or they may not know how to do it properly. If this is the case, you should clarify your expectations and provide better instructions for them.

Poor management

A lack of leadership can often cause employees to lose motivation or become dissatisfied with their jobs. Your employee may not feel valued, appreciated or respected. To solve this problem you could offer more recognition and praise for their good work, as well as rewards such as bonuses, extra days off etc. You should also make sure that your team is working towards a common goal and has a clear vision of the company’s future.

A lack of communication or team spirit

Fostering the right work culture and environment is very important for creating good team spirit. If your employee has started performing poorly, they may be feeling undervalued or unappreciated by their colleagues. To solve this problem you could encourage your team members to communicate more with each other and show appreciation for the contributions of others. This can help boost morale and create a better work environment for everyone involved.

Personal issues

If the issue is personal issues, it may that your employee is stressed out at home or in their relationship. They may not be able to focus on their work because of these personal issues. To solve this problem you could offer them extra support or counselling so that they can work through their problems and get back on track with their performance at work.

Speak to Employees About Their Performance

Once you have identified the cause of the poor performance, it’s time to speak to your employee about it. This may be a difficult conversation but it needs to happen in order for all parties involved to understand the situation and what is expected of them.

You may decide to just have an informal chat or to organise a more formal meeting. The most important thing is that you are clear and concise about the issue and that you give the employee a chance to explain their side of the story. This conversation may be enough to solve the problem but if not, then you may need to take further steps.

Set Out Clear Job Expectations

If your employee’s performance is still poor after speaking with them about it, you will need to set out clear job expectations for them in writing. This should be a detailed description of what they are expected to do and how they are expected to do it. You should also set a deadline for when they need to meet these expectations.

What is most important is that you are clear and specific about what you want so that there is no confusion on either side. If your employee does not improve their performance after you have spoken to them or they disagree with the expectations, then you may need to take disciplinary action.

create an action plan

Create an Action Plan

Once you have spoken to your employee and set job expectations that they have shown they are willing to work towards it’s time to create an action plan. This will outline the steps that your employee needs to take in order to improve their performance.

Some of these steps may include attending extra training, working with a mentor, meeting deadlines or improving communication. You should also set a date by which you will review their progress and determine whether they have met the expectations that were set for them.

When creating an action plan, what is most important is that you are realistic and that the steps your employee needs to take are achievable. If they feel overwhelmed or like they can’t meet the expectations, then they may become discouraged and their performance will continue to suffer.

Follow Up Regularly

It is important to follow up regularly with employees who are struggling to improve their performance. This could be in the form of a meeting or just sending them an email to check in on their progress. This will show that you are serious about helping them improve and it will also hold them accountable for their actions.

Being a good employer or manager means having an ear on the ground to whatever is going on with your team and this is especially important when it comes to dealing with poor performing employees. Without following up to check on employee happiness or satisfaction, this is not possible. Try to set aside some time each week for checking in with employees, giving them feedback and answering any questions they may have.

Reward Improvements

Rewarding improvements is a great way to encourage your employee to continue performing well. This could be as simple as giving them praise or it might involve more formal methods like promotions or bonuses.

One of the best ways of rewarding improvements is by giving your employees opportunities for career development. This will show them that you value their hard work and are invested in helping them grow professionally, which should provide extra motivation to continue performing well.

Whenever a new position becomes available at your business, make sure you look internally before you make any external hires. This will give your existing employees a chance to apply for the role and if they are successful, it will show them that their hard work has paid off.

Provide Extra Coaching

If your employee is still struggling with poor performance after all of these steps have been taken then you may need to provide some extra coaching. This could involve setting up a meeting with them to discuss their development needs or assigning them a mentor who will help guide their career path and provide support when needed. Suitable mentors usually include senior managers, directors and even CEOs.

You may also want to consider sending them on extra training courses or seminars that will help improve their skills in areas they are struggling with. This could be anything from communication workshops to leadership development programmes.

This is a great way to bridge skills gaps so that your employees are able to perform better in their roles or even move on to new ones. Talk to them about areas where they would like to develop, such as leadership qualities or technical skills and then work together on a plan for how these can be achieved.

discipline or dismiss employees

Discipline or Dismiss Them

If an employee’s performance does not improve after you have taken all of the above steps, it may be time to discipline them. This should involve a verbal warning and a written warning before you consider dismissal.

Make sure that when you are disciplining an employee, you have evidence to back up your claims. This will help to ensure that the process is fair and that the employee has a chance to defend themselves.

A fair disciplinary process that leads to dismissal will usually look something like this:

  1. You inform your employee that you are dissatisfied with their performance and discuss the situation.
  2. You give the employee time to improve but fail to make any significant improvements.
  3. You give the employee a verbal warning about their performance and discuss areas for improvement with them, along with what will happen if improvements are not made by an agreed date (this should be in writing).
  4. After a set period of time has passed, you review the situation and if the employee’s poor performance has not improved, you give them a written warning. This should include details of the poor performance, consequences of continuing to perform poorly and a date by which improvements must be made.
  5. If the employee’s poor performance does not improve after receiving a written warning, you may choose to dismiss them. This should only happen as a last resort and after taking into account how long the employee has been performing poorly, the severity of the poor performance and any mitigating circumstances.

These measures should never be taken lightly so always make sure you have exhausted all other possible options before taking this step.

Seek Legal Advice

It is very important that you follow your company’s disciplinary policies when taking these steps and always seek legal advice if you are unsure about what to do. If a disgruntled employee feels like they have been dismissed or treated unfairly, then they may decide to take legal action against you, which could cost your business a lot both in terms of money and reputation.

An experienced employment lawyer can help you to ensure that your disciplinary process is fair and that it complies with relevant laws. They will also be able to provide advice on how best to deal with employees who are performing poorly so that you don’t end up in court.

What About Employees With Poor Attitudes or Behaviour?

In some cases, an employee may not be performing poorly because they lack the skills or knowledge to do their job properly. Instead, it could be that they have a poor attitude that is preventing them from fulfilling their potential and being an asset to your business.

Poor attitudes are often caused by personal problems outside of work but can also stem from a bad work culture or environment. In some cases, it may be necessary to dismiss an employee who has a poor attitude if their behaviour is having a negative impact on the rest of your team.

However, before you take this step, you should try to address the issue by speaking to the employee and trying to find out what is causing their bad attitude. If you do this, it is important that you approach the conversation in a sensitive way and give them space to talk.

If they are struggling with personal issues, then consider offering them time off work or support from an employee assistance programme if your business offers one. You should also monitor their behaviour closely over time to see whether any changes have been made.

If the employee’s attitude does not improve after speaking to them, then you may choose to give them a final warning and/or dismiss them. Again, it is important that you follow your company’s disciplinary policies and get legal advice if necessary.

To help avoid any issues with conduct or attitude, it is always worth having an employee’s handbook which lays out exactly what is and isn’t acceptable at work. This should include everything from dress code to acceptable language as well as information about your disciplinary policies so that employees are aware of the consequences of poor performance or bad behaviour.

happy employees

Final Thoughts

Knowing how to deal with poor performing employees can be difficult, but it is important to remember that there are many steps you can take before resorting to dismissal. By recognising the signs of poor performance, setting out job expectations, providing extra encouragement and training and following up with your employees regularly, you should be able to get your employees back on track.



Related Stories

More From

Most Read


If you enjoyed this article,
why not join our newsletter?

We promise only quality content, tailored to suit what our readers like to see!