How To Handle A Poor Performing Employee


Knowing what to do when your top employee’s performance falters is a challenge many small businesses can encounter.

It is often difficult to know what to do when one of your best employees becomes distracted in their role. Could it be a personal issue they are dealing with or a problem at work? Luckily, there are strategies you can adopt to address the root of the cause and develop a plan to assist your employee in getting back on track.

Do Not Delay

You cannot form a solution until you know the fundamental cause, which is why putting off a talk with your employee is never the answer. Act promptly to save productivity levels dropping in your business.

Speak In Private

Avoid discussing in front of the rest of your staff as this will only humiliate your employee and likely make them uncomfortable to open up to you.

Create Open Discussion

During your talk, avoid speaking in a confrontational tone; your aim is to identify the issue and find a positive resolution. Give them the chance to talk as there may be a reasonable explanation, such as dealing with a family matter at home.

When It Is A Personal Problem

When a good employee is underperforming, it can often be due to a personal issue. They may be dealing with a mental health problem or having family issues at home that are affecting their ability to perform their role effectively.

Form A Plan

You have found the root of the cause, and now you need to form a plan that sets out your expectations for your employee moving forward. This will be a plan of action and will differ depending on the actual issue. For instance, your plan for assisting an employee who has a mental illness will differ greatly from a staff member who has a problem with management protocols.


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