6 Indicators of an Underperforming Employee and What To Do
Sign #1: Missing Skills
- Does an employee need to gain the requisite skills to perform at the level of the rest of your team? If so, you aren’t alone. Forbes claims 70% of organizations suffer from a skills shortage.
- Fortunately, lacking a specific set of skills doesn’t mean your team member is incapable. They merely require training to bolster their skillset.
- Do your best to employ engaging training practices so that lessons stick. For instance, training frameworks are bolstered by curating relevant training materials to guide employees through a comprehensive and insightful learning journey. This technique is known as having a playlist, which offers a sequential informational flow, allowing your team members to progress to more complex materials.
Sign #2: Lack of Ability
- A lack of ability can be a challenging obstacle for many. After all, while skills can be taught and learned, abilities are broader and innate.
- Since the employee lacks intangible qualities, training materials alone won’t suffice. Instead, any training must be performed in conjunction with coaching.
- While training focuses more on teaching skills and building knowledge bases, coaching revolves around attitude choice, behaviors, self-awareness, and development needs. It’s more comprehensive than training.
Sign #3: New Experience
- Someone might have the skill and ability to face a new challenge, but they might need to gain experience. For instance, stepping into unfamiliar territory might require increased emotional intelligence–a stiff challenge for many evolving professionals.
- Often, mentoring is the answer for underperforming employees challenged by new experiences.
- Mentoring and coaching overlap, but mentoring is more driven by the mentee, while the coach initiates the coaching. Also, mentoring tends to be more personalized and doesn’t typically measure performance like coaching does.
- Reports indicate that 90% of employees with a mentor are happy with their current role. As this LinkedIn article points out, job satisfaction typically yields higher employee production levels.
Sign #4: Demoralization
- Here’s where your accessibility as a team leader is an absolute must. A demoralized team member should feel safe to come to you with their issues.
- When you obtain this information (or you’ve detected the problem), take it to your boss and consult.
- From there, you can embark on a decision-making process informing your following course of action.
- Part of this consultation process could mean reassessing your current management style and frameworks to get the most out of your team members.
Sign #5: Waning Interest
- Your employees are human, and they can stagnate while doing the same thing repeatedly. It’s only natural that someone with the potential to perform at peak functionality under-delivers when disengaged.
- Sometimes, a realignment of tasks and responsibilities can make all the difference. New challenges to conquer can reinvigorate focus, passion, attitude, and workplace performance.
Sign #6: Values Mismatch
- Some relationships reach their end. Things could have changed over time, or you’ve realized your values don’t align.
- When underperforming employees don’t share your values, and no amount of finesse can rectify the issue, it’s likely time to consider an exit.
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