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Three Tips for Transforming an Under-Performing Employee

If you’re an employer, it’s very likely that at some point, you’ll need to address an employee who isn’t quite working at their best. It’s important to consider why they may be underperforming, as well as steps you can take to provide constructive feedback and effectively manage the employee’s performance. Here are three tips for how to transform an under-performing employee and give them the help and tools they need to excel:

Demonstrate empathy.

As you approach an employee with a conversation about their performance, demonstrating empathy can be critical in having an open and honest conversation that leads to meaningful outcomes. Remembering that employees are human beings with their own personal struggles and issues is key to getting this type of conversation off on the right foot. Empathic communication involves active listening in which you take the time to listen to the employee’s thoughts, feelings, and concerns. From there, you can help the employee do an honest reflection of their performance and identify areas for improvement.

Assign a mentor.

Sometimes employees can greatly benefit from mentors in the workplace. Mentorship programs can be facilitated in many forms and are often instrumental in helping your employees develop professionally and feel more supported in their roles. Assigning a mentor to an underperforming employee can offer them more guidance while taking on new tasks, leveraging their strengths, and reaching their greatest potential. Over time, a mentor can be a source of empowerment for an employee who needs some additional help and motivation.

Establish a plan moving forward.

Once you’ve had detailed exchanges with the employee about their performance, it’s essential to establish a plan for the individual moving forward. This may involve setting a couple of short-term and long-term goals that are realistic for the employee, as well as a timeline of meetings to check in and track the employee’s progress. Putting a plan in place will ensure both you and the employee have shared expectations about what they should be striving to achieve, allowing you both to evaluate milestones in the coming weeks and months.


While an underperforming employee does not transform overnight, being proactive with providing feedback can dramatically improve the individual’s abilities on the job – as well as their confidence and attitude towards work in general!



Need help building an all-star team this year? Get in touch with HH Staffing and learn how our staffing solutions can grow your workforce.

Until Next Time,


Your Staffing Partner, Darrin Rohr- President, CEO, and Chief Servant

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Current owner of HH Staffing and Former Chief HR Officer for several successful Multinational Fortune 500 Companies. Brings a fresh perspective from decades of experience creating Great Workplace Cultures by building high-performance teams while leading and managing people from all different backgrounds. HH Staffing is headquartered in Sarasota, Florida, and is uniquely positioned to serve both local and national clients.