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3 Steps for Addressing Under-performing Employees

Despite the current economic climate, there are still employees in the workforce who are not “engaged” at their company.  In other words, they don’t display passion or enthusiasm about their job, and as a result, their production suffers.

While companies may have already parted ways with some of their under-performing or “un-engaged” employees, some might remain.  This could be for a number of different reasons:

  • The employee was highly productive in the past.
  • The employee was responsible for the creation of a product and/or service that brought the company considerable revenue.
  • The employee has been with the company for a long time.
  • The employee is on a team integral to the creation of future revenue.

Regardless of the reason or reasons that the person is still with the company, the fact they’re un-engaged (and under-performing) is a cause for concern and should be addressed.

Below are three steps for doing just that, and they all involve sitting down with the employee and speaking with them on a one-on-on basis:

  1. Inquire—Ask them if there’s something they need in order to do their job better.  Give them the benefit of the doubt; if they do indicate that there’s something they need, offer to provide it.
  2. Advise—Suggest additional training to the employee, especially in those areas in which they appear to be lagging or those that would benefit the company the most.
  3. Challenge—Spell out, in no uncertain terms, that the employee is being counted upon and what is being expected of them.

By taking the steps above, you’re both communicating clearly with the employee and also setting concrete expectations for their future performance.  As a result, you’re increasing the chances that you’ll be able to re-engage them and enhance the value they bring to your company.

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