Motivating an Underperforming Employee

Motivating an Underperforming Employee

When you hire an employee, you expect them to give their best, work well with the rest of the team and help the company succeed. However, there are times when a worker underperforms. Some may be subpar since the beginning while others may lose interest in their jobs, causing them to not perform well. As an employer, do you fire someone who’s not contributing to the team right there and then?

Although you may have the right to let go of a staff member who does not follow protocols, produces low quality output or is habitually late or absent, the law dictates that there are due processes to be followed. It’s also a human thing to do to try and motivate the underperforming employee to help them improve their performance. Here’s how:


Address the problem personally and immediately

Don’t wait for the employee who’s faring poorly to approach you and ask for your help. A professor of management and organizational behavior, Joseph Weintraub, said that underperformance is like an infection. If you don’t deal with the situation while it’s still isolated, it can get worse and spread.

Get to the bottom of the issue

Figuring out what’s causing the employee to be demotivated can improve things immensely. You’ll be able to address the issue better this way and take the necessary actions.

See to it you are not bias

Don’t let your frustration to cloud your judgment. If you can’t help it, ask your managers or supervisors to give you feedback about the employee in question. This helps you become more objective on your approach and on how you deal with the problem.


Act as a mentor or coach

First, see to it that the employee is willing to work out a plan for his or her improvement. Make the staff understand the goals as well as his or her responsibilities.

Monitor progress

Your hard work will be for naught if you don’t follow up with the underperforming worker. By monitoring their progress, you’ll be able to gauge whether they followed your advice or not.

Written by Editor

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