All leaders will encounter poor employee performance at some point. When employees are no longer putting effort into their work and performance, there is normally an underlying root cause. It is important for leaders to identify the cause of poor work performance and take immediate action to help resolve the issue.  

Here are five tips to successfully manage poor work performance:  

Address the issue immediately  

If you start to notice a decrease in motivation and performance from an employee, talk to them immediately. If you take too long to confront them, it could make the problem worse and harder to recover from. Poor performance can also cause a ripple effect to other coworkers, so it is best to address the problem as soon as possible.  

Determine the cause  

After addressing the issue, it is important for leaders to try and identify what the root cause of an employee’s poor performance is. Schedule a time to meet with your employee and discuss their change in performance. During this meeting, ask your employees to talk through the reasons why they may be having performance issues and what suggestions they have to help improve the situation.  

Here are some of the potential causes of poor performance: 

  • Lack of motivation 
  • Poor job fit 
  • Health challenges  
  • Lack of knowledge 
  • Poor management  
  • Lack of resources  
  • Bullying or harassment 
  • Stress 

Create a performance plan  

Once you have discussed potential causes with your employee, create a performance improvement plan. This plan is meant to guide and motivate the employee to improve their performance in a timely manner. This plan should include new goals, tasks, and deadlines based on your conversation with your employee.  

Follow up with your employee  

Managing poor performance includes frequently following up with the employee to see how the new performance plan is going for them. Discuss successes and failures with the new performance plan and if they have any feedback regarding their new workload and tasks.  

Recognize employee success 

Throughout the process of overcoming poor performance, it is important to recognize your employee’s strengths and successes. When employees feel recognized for their hard work, it can help motivate and encourage them to continue improving.  

Poor employee performance can be damaging to a company, so it is important for leaders to address the issue as soon as possible. Through determining the cause, creating a plan, following up, and recognizing your employee’s efforts, it is possible to overcome poor performance and increase overall trust and communication in the workplace.