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Assisting the Underachievers

Date: 08/15/2006 | Category: Business | Author: Diana Heeb Bivona

With the time and money it takes to fire and rehire new employees, the idea of helping a less than motivated worker morph into an “acceptable” employee moves to being an almost worthwhile endeavor.  However, it does require additional work on your part, and sometimes the best way to avoid having to deal with an employee exhibiting poor performance is to prevent it in the first place. 

While you will probably feel frustrated by a poor performing employee, it’s important that you deal with the situation in an unbiased, fair and consistent manner as possible.  Always investigate the underlying factors for the problem or behavior.  Good managers constantly assess risk and identify and address potential failures early.

Ask yourself if you have:

  • established clearly achievable and definable goals for your employee?
  • kept the lines of communication open and set short term-milestones to monitor their progress?
  • Scheduled regular reviews and encouraged employees to monitor their own performance and asked for feedback on their progress?

Finally, in some situations, poor performance may be a perceived rather than a real problem.  Investigating the situation thoroughly and providing direction which may not have existed before, allows you to make informed and impartial decisions as to the future of that under-achieving employee.

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