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Underperforming workers can have a big impact on your business. It can impact your top line (cutting your revenue), your bottom line (increasing your expenses) and your overall business performance (profitability).

It’s important to identify underperforming workers as soon as possible, and address performance problems with an action plan that will maximise your business success.

Identify employee engagement issues as soon as possible, as the impact to their work and output could expose your business to safety risks. Either in the workplace or if they’re producing products or services that may not be fit for purpose.

Imagine for example, a type fitter who is disengaged, how many cars could be driving around with loose wheels if actions aren’t taken to improve performance. Or barista who is making coffee at a temperature too hot for customers. How many people might get burned in just a short time and then return to sue your business later. Poor performing employees can have significant impact on the performance of your business, and at times, the source of the problem isn’t obvious. More critically, if the approach to dealing with underperformance isn’t constructive, it can create distance between between manager and employee, and also impact the rest of your team.

Managing underperformance can stressful or difficult for managers, but it doesn’t have to be. in this article, Sean Wilson, BetterHR CEO provides 5 tips to help you take decisive action when confronted with a slacker.

1. Communicate with your workers regularly.

Keep regular and open communication with your workers. Ask them regularly how the job is going, and actively listen to how employees feel. Do they have the right tools? Are there any hazards in the workplace that need to be removed? Often, workers will see opportunities to improve long before you do. Encourage them to work with you to make the workplace better for everyone to achieve shared success.

2. Ensure the job is accurately defined in-writing.

Its critical to have an up-to-date job description in-writing. With clear, competency-based job duties. So, you and the worker have clear expectations of the performance required.

You should also review each role regularly to identify any changes. Often, roles evolve over time. Role responsibilities can grow and/or change as your business evolves. Constantly check in to evaluate whether each worker has the skills and experience to do what’s currently needed. You may need to help them learn new skills to take on new tasks. Or a role may have changed so dramatically that you need to restructure.

3. Set clearly defined performance measures.

For each duty you need to set clear targets and measures. So people know how you measure competency and performance. This will clarify the goals and metrics employees need work toward. Defining a clear set of outcomes can assist with managing and reducing underperformance, and help employees perform.

4. Review performance measures regularly.

Meet with the worker regular to evaluate how they’re performing. Provide support as needed to help them maximise performance. Set clear goals for areas you want to see improved. Keep records so all parties know what is expected and when. With right performance management templates, systems, and guides, you’ll be able to create a positive structure to improve performance, and provide workers with clear directions. If problems persistent, then the next step would be to implement a performance improvement plan.

5. Respond to performance issues decisively.

If workers continue to slack off, or under-perform you need to follow correct procedures to manage them out of the business. More critically, you need to do this lawfully and compliantly. Ensure issues are clearly documented. Issue appropriate written warning. That clearly inform the worker there employment may be terminated if there performance does not improve. Ask them to show cause as to why they should not be terminated. Get good advice from qualified HR and employment lawyers like BetterHR.

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