How To Manage Poor Performance In The Workplace?

Many times when working in an organization, employees often make mistakes. After all, they aren’t robots. As a manager, if you lead a team, you manage human beings, and work life is unpredictable.

You must make a checklist that includes everything you need to improve poor staff performance. If you notice someone is not performing well, you must motivate them to be more productive.

If your employees’ performance is not going well, you need to discuss it with them and find a solution. One should pay attention to poor staff performance as they need immediate action.

Here are some steps to improve the poor performance checklist.

What Is Poor Performance?

Poor performance refers to the failure of individuals, organizations, or systems to meet expected standards or goals across multiple contexts, including academics, sports, work, or personal pursuits. Subpar outcomes, achievements, or results characterize it.

In the workplace, poor performance is evident when employees consistently fall short of performance targets, produce low-quality work, lack productivity or motivation, or frequently make mistakes. It can also manifest as chronic lateness, absenteeism, or an inability to collaborate effectively with colleagues.

In academic settings, poor performance is marked by consistently low grades, an inability to grasp or apply concepts, inadequate study habits, or a lack of effort and engagement in learning activities.

In sports, poor performance refers to athletes failing to meet expectations, underperforming in competitions, or not reaching their potential due to physical limitations, mental obstacles, or inadequate training.

Various factors contribute to poor performance, including inadequate skills or knowledge, lack of motivation, external distractions, personal issues, ineffective management or coaching, or a mismatch between abilities and assigned roles.

Identifying the root causes of poor performance is crucial for implementing effective strategies to address and improve it.

?Importance Of Managing Poor Performance In The Workplace

Effectively addressing and managing poor performance in the workplace holds significant importance due to the following reasons:

Organizational Productivity

Poor performance can significantly impact overall productivity and hinder achieving organizational goals.

When one employee consistently underperforms, it can have a ripple effect on the team’s morale and motivation, reducing efficiency and output. Organizations can address the issue promptly and maintain high productivity by managing poor performance.

Employee Morale And Engagement

High-performing employees often feel demotivated and frustrated when they have to compensate for the poor performance of their colleagues. This can lead to decreased morale, disengagement, and increased turnover rates.

Effectively managing poor performance helps create a fair and supportive work environment, boosting employee morale and engagement.

Individual Growth And Development

Addressing poor performance provides an opportunity for employees to improve their skills and capabilities.

By identifying areas of weakness, setting clear performance expectations, and providing constructive feedback, managers can help employees develop their skills and reach their full potential. This, in turn, benefits both the employee and the organization.

Team Dynamics And Collaboration

Poor performance can disrupt team dynamics, erode trust, and hinder collaboration. It may create resentment among team members who feel they are carrying an unequal share of the workload.

Managing poor performance enables the team to address and resolve conflicts, maintain healthy relationships, and foster effective collaboration.

Legal And Compliance Considerations

Failure to address poor performance can expose organizations to legal and compliance risks. If an employee’s poor performance is not addressed appropriately, it may lead to unfair treatment, discrimination, or constructive dismissal claims.

Organizations can mitigate these risks by managing poor performance through documented performance improvement plans and consistent communication.

Maintaining Standards And Expectations

Organizations have performance standards and expectations that need to be upheld for consistent quality and customer satisfaction.

Managing poor performance ensures that employees meet these standards and expectations, maintaining the organization’s reputation and credibility.

Continuous Improvement

Addressing poor performance is part of an organization’s larger process of continuous improvement.

By identifying areas of underperformance and implementing strategies to address them, organizations can enhance their processes, systems, and overall performance. This contributes to the long-term success and growth of the organization.

?️Common Types Of Poor Performance Issues

In an organization, a manager must deal with many poor performance issues. You need to take your time and understand the most common types to help your employees create better performance.

As a manager, you should not ignore poor staff performance as it can create trouble in the future for them and the workplace.

Here are some poor performance issues you need to solve as soon as possible.

Common Types of Poor Performance Issues

  • Conflicts
  • Poor management skills
  • Time wasting
  • Absenteeism
  • Lateness


Suppose your employees are not having good relationships with their coworkers.

In that case, it can lead to poor performance as it creates conflicts due to the inability to communicate respectfully and clearly.

In that case, you need to solve the conflict to help your employees understand how to improve their staff performance.

Bad management skills.

As a manager, it becomes your responsibility to perform a self-assessment to check if there are any requirements to improve your management skills.

If you do this work properly, then only your team members can grow on their own performance. There should not be bad management at the workplace as it affects an individual’s performance.

Wasting time.

Your employees should focus on work at the workplace rather than wasting their time using their smartphones. Excessive use of smartphones can also result in poor staff performance.

If you want to motivate your team members at the workplace, you can organize a break schedule, as it will allow them to take short breaks during the whole day. It can also increase an employee’s productivity and effectiveness.


If your employee is absent from the workplace, there may be some personal reason that you should not forget.

As a manager, you should not scold them as it can demotivate them. It may be difficult for your employees to handle such a situation, but they can deal with it easily if they have a supportive leader or manager.


As a manager, if you continuously notice that your employee is not coming at the correct time, you must ask why.

You can also give them easy work to start and finish within the specified time.
As lateness should not be tolerated at the workplace, but sometimes you can be liberal so that your team members can understand by themselves the importance of poor staff performance.

?Methods Of Managing Poor Work Performance

Informal Performance Discussion

As a manager, it becomes your responsibility to assess your employee’s performance that should be relative to their position description.

If you skip this position description, then there is no way to improve the poor performance of your employees.

You must have an informal performance discussion as a manager whenever your employees are not performing at the workplace.

In that discussion, you need to discuss each problem which is why your employees cannot perform like others.

In that discussion, you can also add problems, such as.

  • Identifying the main reason for the problem
  • Can give the employees responsibility to handle the issues raised and
  • Can guide the employees so that they can identify ways to improve performance.

Also, you can give your employees measuring parameters to demonstrate performance improvements in their behavior.

As a manager, you should not demotivate your employee’s poor performance as it can affect their productivity, and they will not be able to perform well.

Discuss what might be causing the performance issues

Poor staff performance doesn’t just happen; there is an underlying reason. As a manager, it becomes their responsibility to solve this problem. One should pay attention to this problem so it can create a big problem in the future.

One can also meet with their employees and discuss the potential reasons for weak performance at the workplace.

Also, as an HR executive, you need to maintain a positive environment at the workplace so that your employees like to work over there.

You can also ask them if any environmental problem stops them from working effectively. Is the technology they have outdated? Are they being bullied or discriminated against by someone at the workplace? Are they tied up with ineffective workplace practices?

One should focus on all these problems as they can be the actual cause of poor staff performance. Also, weak performance can result from problems in their personal life or lack of ability.

Whenever you think of managing poor performance, you need to organize a meeting and create an honest dialogue to get some idea of the reason for the issue.

Bringing solutions for the cause becomes necessary as one can’t work in this atmosphere where productivity is zero.

Can You Provide Poor Performance Feedback As Soon As Possible?

Some managers try to avoid conflicts in the workplace. They need to keep up morale and ensure their employees are happy.

As a manager, you should only give your employees negative feedback if they perform well. But if you avoid giving feedback, it can worsen your employees’ performance.

  • The manager’s responsibility is to provide their employee’s feedback on employee performance, failures, and successes.
  • According to a survey, 95% of employees like to hear correct feedback, whether it is negative or positive.

Negative feedback will help them to improve their working ability.

So it becomes imperative to be authentic and direct with what you say. Most employees are aware of problems but need to learn how to solve them effectively.

  • As a manager, you need to provide your employees time to time feedback as it’s essential.
  • Before the situation worsens, you must organize a one-on-one meeting with the employees.
  • You can also explain the purpose of the meeting and keep the tone severe but soft.

Once you identify the issue, it becomes easy to solve. It would help if you told the truth about an employee’s productivity and performance, as nobody is perfect.

Everyone makes mistakes in the workplace, and it’s standard to do the same if performance is not going well. It needs to be solved immediately.

One can also offer solutions and suggested actions to fight the underlying problem.

Neglecting your employees by seeing their poor performance and telling them to leave the job will not resolve performance problems. This strategy is not going to benefit your organization.

If you want your employee’s performance to get back on track, you must show your help and support. Every employee has a particular responsibility to manage their performance.

They think they should work according to what they are paid for and as per their job description but don’t consider that they should work effectively to increase their grade.

As employees, it is their responsibility to provide the best productivity and performance. If you provide them with your support, the chances of achieving the desired goal also increase.

Employees also expect their managers to support and help whenever needed. You need to present them beside them even if they have any problems.

Providing support can increase the chances of reaching the goals you expect within a short period. You can assign them the responsibility to improve poor performance as they will also feel important at the workplace.

Use performance Management Software.

If you want to track the performance of your employees, you need to carry out regular performance reviews.

Tracking performance is essential so you can identify the problems early. With the help of a performance review, you can stop the problems from becoming significant future issues.

A performance review helps managers monitor their employees’ progress through check-in discussions. One can also use performance management software to set a goal in real-time.

Knowing your employee’s performance, you can immediately react to the problems instead of missing them. As a manager, you should not take poor staff performance lightly, as it can create a big problem in the future.

If a problem is solved within a time, then only it’s effective; otherwise, it is useless.
One can use performance management software whether your business is small or large. With the help of such software, one helps improve their employees’ poor performance.

Improve team productivity and effectiveness.

As a manager, you need to motivate your team members so that they can work effectively. Effective management will allow you to impact overall positively and team productivity.

If you use this technique properly, it will help your team members to motivate and build trust. Along with that, their communication skills can also get improved.

You do not need to fire your employees if they cannot work properly; you need to talk with them about their decreasing productivity.

If you successfully manage poor staff performance, only you can encourage your team members to do well.

Redirect strong performance to support negative qualities

If you keep tracking the performance of your employees with the help of performance management systems, you can focus on strengths.

One should not dismiss their employees for poor performance but can redirect their strengths elsewhere.

  • Suppose a person needs help with marketing skills but has good communication and influencing skills. Then it can benefit the business.
  • As a manager, it becomes your responsibility to correctly identify and use your employee’s skills.

If you have better knowledge of both good and bad performance, it becomes straightforward to recover from Underperformance by considering how an individual can work better than their capacity.

  • If employees have good writing speed, their verbal communication could be better than the standard needed.
  • In that case, you can motivate your employees to use their writing skills to prepare for face-to-face conversations and debates.
  • Identifying the skills to be used to strengthen performance is essential as it can help them support areas where they are underperforming.

Disciplinary action

One of the best parts of performance management is to help employees so that they can be beneficial to the business. But the drawback is that sometimes.

Underperformance doesn’t work according to our plan. Suppose an employee needs to work more effectively with the manager to improve performance. In that case, it becomes essential to issue written warnings and start a formal disciplinary process that can result in dismissal.

It can’t be the best solution, but seeing the situation, companies should consider it as a silver lining if their employees are not performing well. In your business, you will always have a vacancy that’s going to be filled with more honest and engaged employees.

Engaged employees are far better than poor performers as they work more effectively. As a manager, it’s your responsibility to encourage them by providing support and care.

Define the core performance issues.

You must first be clear on the core performance issues to improve poor staff performance. No problem can’t be defined. You need to identify the issue that is resulting in poor work performance.

Defining the core performance issue is the most critical and fundamental step; if you can’t do this, you can’t overcome poor staff performance.

The primary step is to analyze the overall performance of employees’ work. As a manager, you need to look at how your employees work.

You can also collect data and information to understand what will work and why performance is declining.

Indeed, poor performance is related to employee productivity and performance. If you say that your team members are unproductive, it will not work.

Why are they not productive? First, you need to find the answer to this question. Poor performance can result in fewer sales.

It can also be the inability to reach deadlines. There can be many reasons that need to be identified at the right time.

Whenever you meet with your employees to talk about their performance, you must leave your rude behavior out of the door.

??‍?Action Plan For Poor Performance

If the company’s overall performance decreases daily, you must take immediate action. One should not fire their employees as there may be better routes. Sometimes it’s very time-consuming and costly.

One can follow these steps so that they can improve their employee’s poor performance in an effective manner such as.

Communication expectations

More than 50% of employees must know what management expects from them. It becomes imperative to have clear communication with your employees related to the specific goal.

As a manager, you need clear communication so your team members can understand clear-cut expectations. Otherwise, they may need to learn about where they are blowing.

If you suspect that your employees are unaware of their Underperformance, you can provide your support. It will help your employees set clear goals, so they can know how well they are doing on a particular project.

With clear communication, one can help their employees work more effectively than others. Also, they can give intense competition to other companies.

Provide training and learning opportunities.

If your employees know what you expect, they can give their best. If they cannot understand, you can provide them with the necessary help to speed up their skills.

You can also conduct one-on-one meetings with the manager or experienced employees to find the cause of Underperformance.

If you provide your employees training, it will not help improve their quality of work, but it will also motivate them to work more effectively.

Providing skills training will help them to show their growth. As a manager, you should remember soft skills, especially when they are in front of their customers, like sales or customer service.

While training, they are taught to handle interpersonal challenges. It will also help them to open new learning opportunities.

Make a detailed plan.

The last and most important step is communicating so that they can perform better. As a manager or HR executive, you can make a detailed plan to improve their performance.

One can make a detailed plan for employee performance over the next three months.

  • First, we need to make goals achievable and quantifiable.
  • Second, we need to identify the goals with departmental targets.
  • Third, when all else fails.

If your employees work according to this, they can improve their staff performance. It’s a tough job for managers, but they have to do it.

If you think of firing your employees, you must warn them that their performance is unacceptable.

Things to keep in mind.

Still, some managers avoid accepting poor staff performance, fearing it may damage the relationship. To some extent, it’s true. But some employees think they do a good job, and most of the time, they expect to have frank feedback to get better career footing.

Just as the cricket team wants their coach to provide proper guidance, your employees also expect from you. It is okay to expect guidance from their managers.

If you keep avoiding poor staff performance for weeks and months, it can affect the morale of an entire team. The manager lost their team’s respect, so you should not take this problem lightly.

As a manager, you should keep your mind open. Often, poor performance has a surprising root cause as they cannot find a solution.

A person’s performance decreases for many reasons, such as financial crisis, family problems, child medical problems, and many more.

?Poor Performance Best Practice Approaches

In today’s world, identifying Underperformance is difficult for managers and employees. As a manager, if you cannot correctly identify your employees’ Underperformance, it can affect your workplace productivity.

Having regular poor performance, your employees may lose motivation. One should identify the underperformance problems straight away.

It can make your work easy if you find a solution for poor performance in the beginning stage.

Also, one can follow these approaches to address Underperformance.

  • Identifying the problem
  • Assessing and analyzing
  • Agree on solution
  • Meet with the employees
  • Monitor and review

If your employees face these problems as managers, you must react quickly. They are as follows.

  • Decreasing staff morale
  • Absenteeism increases
  • Complaints are increasing day by day
  • Less productivity
  • At the workplace, accidents are on the rise.


As a manager, one needs to deal with this problem of poor staff performance appropriately. Different employees have different views and opinions regarding a particular project.

One can also motivate employees to be great performers if they are willing to do something they are passionate about.


How can I provide feedback to an employee about their poor performance?

Provide feedback in a constructive and specific manner. Focus on the observed behaviors or outcomes, explain the impact on the team or organization, and offer suggestions for improvement. Encourage open dialogue and active listening to ensure mutual understanding.

What if the employee’s performance does not improve?

If performance does not improve despite support and feedback, it may be necessary to initiate progressive disciplinary actions, such as written warnings or further coaching. In some cases, termination may be the last resort, following company policies and legal considerations.

How can I support an employee in improving their performance?

Offer additional training, mentoring, or coaching opportunities tailored to the employee’s needs. Provide clear guidance and resources to help them develop the required skills. Regularly check in, offer constructive feedback, and recognize progress to motivate and support their growth.

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