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How To Inspire Underachieving Employees


Inspire Underachieving Employees

Is one of your employees not meeting your expectations?

According to a U.S. national survey, less than 15% of senior managers say their organizations deal with under-performers effectively. We would love to see this statistic change, as a slacking employee can have a huge impact on a company’s overall productivity. In order to successfully inspire underachieving employees, our expert recruiters recommend getting at the root causes of their behavior. Then address them by offering supportive strategies to improve their performance.

Understandably, everyone has bad days or even a bad week at work. However, if someone’s performance is continually less than stellar, actions need to be taken. One underachiever in the office has the potential to wreak havoc in the workplace. Their lack of performance can hinder growth, inhibit teamwork, and can lower the morale of fellow employees. It is the manager’s or owner’s responsibility to come up with a plan to handle an employee who is not holding their own and essentially bringing down the whole office.

Here are some suggestions to help you based on our years of experience in the industry. We hope you find them helpful!


Discuss Expectations

When your employee was hired, their responsibilities and expectations should have been clearly discussed. However, it is not uncommon for some things to get lost in translation, as they say. Before you do anything, sit down with your employee and determine if they know precisely what is expected of them. Perhaps they truly were not aware, which can be a quick fix.


Figure Out the Root of the Problem

If the under-performing employee clearly understands their expectations, we suggest having an open-minded, unbiased conversation with them to figure out where the problem lies. If there is a particular area where they keep making mistakes or where they do not feel comfortable, take this into consideration. The goal right now is to determine where exactly the employee needs improvement.


Come Up With a Plan

Once the problem is defined, set up objectives for your employee. Solve the issue with baby steps and encourage them to voice any concerns. Try to find opportunities for continued learning, such as on-the-job training, webinars, or a mentor program. Once the two of you come to an agreement on their objectives have them sign a written agreement to keep them accountable.


Follow Up To Review Performance

Don’t just give instructions and hope for the best. You should try to assess the employee’s progress on the agreed points you discussed, and check in with them periodically. This encourages teamwork and reinforces the need for increased performance.


Recognize & Reward Good Behavior

Make it a point to acknowledge when the employee is making improvements in their work. Be sure to thank them for a job well done. If they significantly turn things around, let your other colleagues know and join in celebrating their efforts. This creates positive support and hopefully inspires them to strive toward more achievements.


Naturally, assisting your employee with performance improvement takes time and determination. However, not as much time as it would take to hire someone new. (Unless of course you partner with an awesome employment agency like HH Staffing Services!) Talking about the issue with the underachieving employee and taking the necessary steps to improve things, and it will pay off for all parties involved in the long run.


For more information about our staffing services or if you are seeking career advice, please visit our website. We are a temp agency who offers temp-to-perm and direct hire positions. It would be our pleasure to collaborate with you and share our knowledge.