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Effective Ways to Deal with Underperforming Employee

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Sep 2, 2018

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Underperformance employee can affect the overall goal of a business, not to mention it can bring down morale. This is a real fact and it happens in all sort of business. Dealing with this issue is an important thing to do, both for the sake of the company and the employee itself.

Remember that at one point, this underperforming employee was hired based on his/her skill, experience, and attitude. With this in mind, business leader and manager need to consider their approach on how to deal with underperforming employee become re-engaged once more.

Find the Cause of the Issue

Do you know exactly what is the real cause of this issue? Knowing the real cause of the issue will help you to find the best way to deal with it.

Is the employee feel overwhelmed with their task? Does the employee need and training to cope with new responsibility? Is it a personal issue for example illness or perhaps a problem with the family? Do they have all the tool they need to finish their job? Is there any external factor that may cause this issue?

Clear Expectation

Sometimes, people didn’t really understand their role and what was expected of them. In this case, they may not even realize they are underperforming.

Make sure that the employee understands clearly about their role, what is their job responsibility, who they have to answer to, what level of autonomy they have when it comes to making a decision, the boundaries of their role, and everything else about it.

Do the employee know about the repercussion from underperformance? What about target and timelines? Do the employee know about it? Everything needs to be set out clearly as soon as possible to help people understand what they need to prioritize and how to manage their time.

Feedback Time

Delivering feedback to an underperforming employee is not always easy and comfortable, but it needs to be done as soon as possible, or else, you are sending a message that this kind of behavior is tolerable and acceptable.

There are a couple of things to consider when you plan to deliver a feedback to the employee:

- Keep calm and avoid any emotional argument. Nothing good will come from the emotional argument, so make sure to keep calm and have a clear head.

- Prepare the fact. Do not confront the employee with an empty hand. Gather all the required material and evidence that you need to show the employee where he/she was underperforming.

- Specific. Do not talk in broad terms. Show the employee exactly where the performance problem lies. If the employee did not comply with the company policy, have the policy in hand. Do not leave any room for misinterpretation. Be specific about the problem and explain the expectations in a way that everyone can understand.

- Give feedback on behavior, not personality. Give the feedback about the personal behavior and do not attack their personality. Present the fact about the work that has not been completed to standard or about the situation that the employee didn’t handle correctly.

- Constructive feedback. Help the employee to see where they do wrong, how to fix it, and how to prevent it from happening in the future.

- Give the employee an opportunity to ask questions or to clarify something. It will help them to understand more about the expectation and the same time, help employees feel valued.

The best way to approach this issue is in a positive, collaborative and constructive way. This way, you can help the employee to become better at their job and lift up the morale.

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