All employees in an organization are not equal and cannot be expected to be wonderful performers. For various reasons, even the great performers become slack at times. However, low employee productivity does not augur well for businesses. Now, the question is what managers can do about it.

It is not possible to take a one-solution-for-all approach when dealing with poor performers because people are different and their circumstances are also different. However, by following some of the tips given below managers can deal in a better way with poor performers.

#1: Question the sources of information

Managers should ascertain the reliability of the source that has provided information about poor performance. They should avoid relying on other staff members to judge an employee’s performance. Further, they should avoid subjective opinions. In fact, they should find out if the subject employee has been missing targets/deadlines for a long time or he/she is committing blunders despite supervision.

#2: Investigate as to what leads to poor performance

An employee’s performance could turn poor because of many reasons. However, it should be evaluated by spending time with the poor performer. Healthy conversation and effective communication help to resolve most problems. Managers need to find out whether the cause of poor performance is work overload or lack of work, personal issues, incompatibility with colleagues, or change in work.

#3: Provide feedback highlighting key issues

Employees must get the feeling that their contribution to the overall performance of the organization is important. It is up to the managers to reassure employees that their contribution matters whenever their performance. However, managers, on their part, need to be extremely honest and genuine when dealing with poor performers. They should also highlight the key areas that the employee has to focus on to improve performance in their feedback.

#4: Enable the poor performer’s participation

Employee performance appraisal should always involve two-way communication. It may not be possible for the manager to explain each and every aspect to the employee. Managers can guide, coach, and supervise. However, employees should be able to do the work on their own. This is possible only when employees are allowed to provide their view on improving performance.

#5: Review at regular intervals

Managers may suggest plans for improving performance. However, it does not end there. Regular reviews are essential to check progress and improve accountability of poor performers. Coaching and guidance should also be provided as and when needed.

#6: Reward Improvements

Lack of recognition of employees’ effort often demotivates them a lot. Everybody craves for rewards and recognition. It helps in evaluating one’s effort. Reward poor performers in the presence of their colleagues as and when they do something better. However, managers should be genuine in recognizing their efforts.

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