Dealing with underperformers in your workplace
Do you have an employee who is failing to meet their potential? Underperformers don’t just fail to achieve their own goals, but they negatively impact the whole workplace, so it is important that any underperformance issues are addressed.
Poor performance or underperformance by an employee can be shown in a number of ways including failure to perform the work expected of them, non-compliance to the company’s rules and policies and unacceptable behaviour.
If an employee is underperforming, employers should attempt to understand why the employee isn’t doing the work expected of them. There may be barriers that keep these individuals from achieving what they are supposed to. HRMS software is a useful tool for performance management and handling employee relations when faced with an employee whose work is substandard.
It is important not to ignore the problem and allow the situation to continue as this can lead to irritation from the manager or employer and make the situation worse. Talk to the employee in question and their colleagues to gain insight into the employee’s behaviour.
Reasons commonly cited for underperformance are: lack of understanding around what is expected, interpersonal differences with employees and employers,a lack of personal motivation or workplace morale and an employee’s lack of the required skills to achieve what is expected from them.
The Australian Fair Work Ombudsman sets out five steps for managing underperformance
- Problem identification
- Understand the problem and what can be done to fix it
- Set up a personal meeting with the employee to talk about the problem
- Come up with solutions with the employee, it should be a collaborative process
- Once the situation has been implemented, monitor their performance to make sure the fix is working
If this does not resolve the problem, then you may need to take action in line with your company disciplinary policy. If there is an improvement in the employee’s performance, however, remember to give them positive praise.