One of the greatest challenges businesses both established and small business start-up face is dealing with employee underperformance. However, you don’t have to let the problem get to the point where an employee who is not getting the job done receives criticism or is fired. Whether underperformance is due to time management or an overwhelming amount of tasks, recognising the reasons is the first step leaders should take in order to create higher engagement again.
You might not know where to start, in this advisory guide, I aim to facilitate the process and assist you.
The Reasons for Underperformance
When leaders feel overwhelmed and are continually running from one meeting to another without any margin, miscommunication is assured. By this, I mean you will miss the subtle nuances of interpersonal communication and in the process of running for the meetings miscommunicate expectations with your team. Miscommunications also happen when one team member does not fully understand the task and explains it to others or when employees miss out on reading the information regarding the tasks. This leads to false starts and rework which is the main cause for underperformance.
Poor Time Management Skills
Sometimes the smartest individuals have the poorest time management skills as they think they can get away with not planning much longer than others. Small business consultants at Plan 4 Profit say that when hiring employees, not just look at their talent but also their skills in planning, delegating and prioritising. Then look for ways to help strengthen their skills in the areas where they most need help so that they can leverage their intelligence and not burn out.
Being confident is a good thing but being overconfident can lead to downfall. Overconfidence is a polite term for arrogance and there are certain individuals in a team who tend to be overconfident in their abilities to get things done. They believe they know it all and don’t require further input or education and may decline others opinions for the same reasons. Managers need to showcase everyone’s strength in a tactful way and help those individuals understand that every employee’s opinion is valuable.
Unmotivated or Uninspired
Your employees could be underperforming due to lack of inspiration. Some employees like challenges in their work and if they do not get it, they feel uninspired about the work. The leaders need to find something more meaningful and bigger to do, that challenges them. To do this, you need to get to know your team better and learn what creates motivation for them.
Not Feeling Heard
The level of employee engagement usually parallels their performance. If one of your good employees is underperforming, it could be that they are not being heard, their work is not appreciated or they are not valued or respected as an individual. Managers who connect with employees on a personal level are able to recognise their unique contributions and inspire high performance.
Unfortunately, some employees are not always the best fit for an organisation, a team or a certain role. TR Consulting, small business consulting and advisory service provider say that high-fit employees, the individuals who have the experience in handling certain projects will perform better as they will have the knowledge on how to perform the tasks. They are also more satisfied with their jobs and more committed to their organisations.
These are a few reasons why your employees might be underperforming and here are steps to manage them.
Set Clear Expectations
Performance problems result when a company or employee is uncertain about what the job entails. This problem can be prevented by stipulating job requirements that are precise and clear. Exact job specifications not only assist in the hiring process but document exactly what the expectations are so there is no confusion in managing or in their understanding of the job. All, established as well as small business start-up should do this.
Conduct Regular Performance Reviews
Underperforming employees sometimes are not even aware that they are not meeting the expectations. So performance reviews should be held on a regular basis to address what should be done and build strategies to improve performance.
Provide Necessary Training
Performance problems in many cases are a result of an employee being unprepared for the job. This could happen if the employee is hired without the necessary skills, or the job may have evolved. In this scenario, training is essential to correct the underperformance. You as a manager or leader need to manage the budget of the training, advocate for necessary additional funds and specify what the training should be and how much of it the employee needs.
Install a Mentoring Program
A mentoring program can be scheduled where employees are matched with someone more experienced within the company or you can outsource, here Plan 4 Profit can help your employees learn the skills, attitude and manage their time to do the job. A mentor should seek to inspire a passion for the work of the employee, as well as be on hand for encouragement and advice. Installing a solid mentoring program in your organisation can turn underperformers into stars.
The above-mentioned are a few strategies to help with underperformance in your organisation. however, do so with respect and with a genuine plea for an employee to take ownership of their role in the company, and you can see how the performance turns around.
You may also like: A Simplified Guide To Coaching Your Employees – 5 Rules To Always Remember
About the Author
Matthew Kingsford is a business consultant and marketing advisor with over 8 years of experience serving a wide range of industries be it health, banking and finance, telecommunication, transport and logistics, mining and energy and government. He works with various businesses offering a full range of professional business consultancy services in Melbourne.