As a manager, dealing with a variety of different job roles, amongst different personalities can be challenging, especially in a working environment. If a staff member is underperforming, managers will need to approach them tactfully to discuss any issues with their work. 

Here are a few tips on how to manage poor performance within your team.

1. Act now, not later

If you are having concerns about a particular employee, it is important to make sure that you are expressing these as soon as possible. Be sure to voice your concerns in a constructive manner if you have them. This gives your team members a better chance of improvement and development.

2. Don’t attack them

It is important to approach your underperforming staff member carefully, they might have personal issues going on behind the scenes. Similarly, if a staff member continually underperforms, they could be unengaged with their role, or are struggling with the work they are doing in general. It is important to go into the discussion with a calm, and neutral attitude. This will encourage your team member to open up to you about why they aren’t performing at work.

3. Discussing performance 

If you are planning on pulling your team member into a meeting room to discuss their performance, offer them the chance to prepare themselves. Send them an email to let them know that you are planning to discuss their work. They will come into the discussion with a level head, and will be able to offer real solutions to the problems you are facing. If you catch them off guard and they may feel as though they were unable to express themselves and may end up becoming frustrated.

4. Offer specifics

An employee might not know why they are underperforming, or they may not know they are underperforming at all. Offer them examples of when they have underperformed, and solutions as to how you think they can improve. If you open this up for discussion, it will allow your team member to voice how they feel they would be better motivated at work.

5. Outline progression opportunities 

If your team members believe they have no future within your business, then they may begin to be demotivated. This is crucial to business productivity and can directly affect the bottom line. Offering your team members individual and comprehensive career development plans will kick-start them into feeling motivated at work. Where you can, offer a clear career progression plan, and give more responsibility where it is deserved within your team.

6. Outline targets

Poor performance can come from unrealistic targets set by the business. To make sure that your staff aren’t set up to fail, make sure you are setting achievable individual and team targets for the financial year. Furthermore, be sure to give a time frame for the targets to be met. This way they are actively working to a deadline. If their targets are within reach, they are more likely to strive for the best.

If you are looking on more information on management, browse the management advice section of our website. Alternatively, if you are looking to hire top talent in your sector submit a job spec today or get in touch with one of our specialist recruitment consultants.

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