Dealing with poor performing employees

Dealing with poor performing employees can be difficult. It can also have a negative effect on the rest of the team. But it’s not as easy as just getting rid of somebody – there are many laws to protect staff. To figure out what is causing the performance issue, you firstly have to get to the root of the problem. Does it come from a lack of ability or low motivation?

Performance = Ability x Motivation

Low ability

Has this particular employee recently had a promotion that’s too difficult for them? Has too much been put on the employee so that they are swamped and cannot perform to their best ability? These are all things to consider when looking at staff performance. Here are a few ideas on how to improve performance:-

  • Make sure the staff member feels supported and has the resources they require to do the job properly. This will show your team members that you’re willing to make changes to help them succeed
  • Provide additional training to team members if they don’t have the required skills to do what is expected. It’s easy for people’s skills to become outdated so keep their skills current.
  • Consider re-assigning parts of the job to a colleague, or even re-assigning the poor performer to a different role altogether where you feel their skills might be better suited. Remember to do this in a positive way and don’t use demotion as a punishment tactic.

Low motivation

You need to look at the environment in which the employee works and make sure it is motivating. Is the employee happy? Do they feel supported and recognised? Here’s a few points to consider to help improving motivation in the workplace:-

  • Set performance goals that can be measured. Let the employee know what’s expected of them and agree what they can do to improve their work. Show your support and eagerness to help them succeed.
  • Put regular meetings in place to assess the employee’s ability. Provide the appropriate resources and training required to fill out the role. Encourage co-workers to support and assist the member of staff too.
  • Give the employee regular feedback on their efforts. Be honest and open and avoid mixed messages. Provide both positive and negative feedback so that employees can begin to truly understand their strengths and weaknesses. Recognise and reward good performance to acknowledge the success of employees.

If you have tried all of the above and feel that nothing is improving, unfortunately it might be time to let the employee go. You will firstly need to consider terms of employment and restrictions, but in the long run it could be the best decision for your whole team.

This is why recruitment and job matching are such critical parts of building a team. If you use a professional Recruitment Specialist like ourselves, we can assess employee ability properly during the selection process to prevent the issue of poor performing employees. We understand this can be time consuming which is why we can help you with your candidate searches. If you want to discuss this in more detail get in touch with our team today! We are a Specialist Leeds Recruitment Business with a wealth of sector and industry knowledge within the professional services, industrial, engineering and built environment sectors in the Yorkshire area.

Now go ahead and teach, train and nurture your talent.