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  • Prashant

What is poor work performance?

Updated: Jul 26, 2022

When an employee's performance falls short of his or her goals or expectations, it is referred to as poor work performance.

Poor work performance
Poor work performance

Poor employee performance can be caused by a variety of factors.


Your employee will not be able to perform a task if he lacks the time, money, personnel, or supplies to do so, no matter how much he wants to. This is the most straightforward root cause to address, but you should also advise the employee that he should have brought his problem to you sooner rather than attempt to solve it without the necessary resources.


Obtaining a decision from clients or higher-ups, issues collaborating with another department, or other impediments beyond the employee's control are examples of obstacles. Hopefully, you'll be able to step in and assist her in overcoming or navigating the hurdle so that she can complete the task.


A lack of skills can sometimes be the source of a performance issue. Perhaps the employee was promoted before he was ready, or he was given a new set of responsibilities. Hopefully, some additional training or coaching will be able to resolve this performance issue.

Work Expectations
Work Expectations

This can be a key source of poor performance if there are no clear criteria or expectations for a project, or if the employee misunderstands them. Re-examine the project's objectives and deliverables to see if you can assist in resolving any misunderstandings.

External influences have an impact on your employee.

Is it possible that I overworked them?

Were the goals we set for ourselves unrealistic?

Was it possible that I didn't define their role or tasks clearly enough?

Was there a time when I wasn't available to help them?

Ways to deal with bad work performance

Australian Work Culture
Work Culture

1. Don't wait any longer.

We frequently observe managers delaying raising performance concerns with employees or deferring difficult comments. There aren't enough opportunities for incidental or casual counselling sessions. As a result, the employee may have a distorted perception of how well they are performing, and feedback concerning their poor performance may come as a surprise.

2. Hold difficult discussions

It's tempting to lessen the blow when giving an employee feedback on their performance because no one enjoys being the bearer of bad news. Lack of candour or honesty is detrimental to both the individual and the organisation.

3. Keep a record of each step.

A clear document trail should support the history of your management of an employee's performance. This does not have to be a time-consuming process of filling out reports and forms. This can also be accomplished using clear diary notes that document meetings and emails that validate the content of conversations.

4. Enhance your own abilities.

Finally, if you lack confidence in this area and are in charge of people management, you must enhance your own performance! It is a learned talent that you may develop to successfully hold uncomfortable conversations and manage bad performance.

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