How to Handle Underperformance at Work

Every organization  dreams of having a team of A-list members. However, the reality is that some employees do struggle from time to time, causing them  to drag down the whole team and overall productivity. It is therefore crucial for managers to learn how to deal with underperformance among team members in order to achieve their goals. Yes, there’s much more to doing such than the usual team building exercises and yoga sessions. 

Here are some helpful tips on how to tackle underperformance in the workplace.

Fix the behavior as soon as possible.

When an employee underperforms, it is imperative that the manager attend to such an employee immediately.  Aside from conducting employee performance evaluation, you can schedule a one on one meeting with the employee. It is important that you still approach them in a  positive manner. This is to show that underperformance at work is something that can be worked on and turned-around with the right professional approach. 

Recognize what motivates them

Motivating  your employees involves knowing them first.  Consider spending time with them – alone and in  a group set up. This would help understand  your employees’ needs and motivations aside from the usual financial and tangible  ones. By continuously taking time to know them, you would be able to align their overall careers goals with their task on your team. 

Don’t judge quickly

One effective way is to listen first before jumping into assumptions about the employee. When you speak about their current struggles that leads to them being unproductive, be an active listener and provide a level of comfort as this struggle may be due to some personal matter. 

Give appropriate training

Struggling with tasks are common for new employees. A proper onboarding and training map may be helpful for them to be able to cope with the demands of the  new job. Moreover,  tenured  employees may also need to revisit such career roadmaps. This is to ensure that the manager and team members are aligned so the team would be able to perform on a level that is parallel with what they are expected to.

Check in regularly to make sure they’re doing okay

Whether underperformance of a certain employee has been already addressed, managers are strongly encouraged to occasionally drop by and check in with the team individually. This is to show that you genuinely care for them and that at the end of the day, the whole team is in it together.  Moreover, this will ensure that any gap in performance would be addressed accordingly. 

About the author

Jowena Borral is an HR Generalist with more than 5 years of experience working with local and international companies. A business specialist with a knack for creative visualization, team engagement and human interaction.