Common Causes of Poor Employee Performance

Are you concerned about your employees’ performance? Despite your best efforts to scout, screen, and hire the best candidates, their current actions aren’t measuring up to their potential. Whether these performance issues have been present from the beginning or seemingly popped up out of nowhere, it’s hurting your bottom line.

Employee with bad performance

Reacting without understanding the reason for poor workplace performance isn’t practical; however, determining the root causes is easier said than done.

The solutions to employee performance issues are just as diverse as the underlying factors. Failure to first understand what’s wrong can cause employers to react prematurely, wasting time, money, and a potentially excellent employee. That’s why employers must do their due diligence to investigate the root cause to develop the most practical solutions to help their employees improve.

What Causes the Poor Performance?

Below is a look at some common reasons for poor workplace performance.

1. Limited, Outdated, Or Inefficient Resources

Professionals require tools, technologies, or equipment to do their jobs. When these resources are limited, outdated, or inefficient, it causes a decline in productivity and performance. It increases the chances of error, wastes time, and produces poor-quality results.

2. High Work Demands

There’s a wide misconception that high output leads to increased success; however, it’s the opposite. When an employee feels overwhelmed by work tasks (physically or psychologically), it causes a decline in their performance. They start to feel pressured as they try to keep up with their assignments, which leads to careless mistakes, low morale, and a lack of confidence that translates in their work.

3. Inaccessible Management

The relationship between management and employees is vital to quality performance and success. When employees feel they cannot reach or effectively communicate with management, it makes it harder to do their jobs.

4. Lack Of Motivation

Employers must work diligently to maintain a supportive work environment that encourages and inspires employees to put their best foot forward. If an individual feels that they have a dead-end job or are forced to work in poor conditions with little pay, few benefits, and no room for growth, their drive to perform declines.

5. No Training

As systems and processes change and evolve, employees need adequate training to continue performing well. When training isn’t available, employees must learn through trial and error, which can be defeating and unsuccessful. Too many errors or failed attempts consequently result in poor performance.

6. Personal Issues

While people are expected to separate their personal issues from the workplace, it’s not always that easy. When things are going on in an employee’s personal life, it can impact their performance. Whether they’re sick, injured, dealing with financial troubles, or going through some other traumatic experience, it causes them to lose focus on the task at hand.

Positive work environment

Practical Solutions

As you can see, it’s infrequent that an employee starts performing poorly for no reason. Many underlying causes have more to do with the employer, management, and their work environment than their unwillingness to do the job. Once you’ve identified the core causes for poor workplace performance, you can use strategies like these to encourage improvement:

1. Healthier Work Environments

Employers must ensure that they’re providing a safe and healthy environment for their employees. Complete an assessment of your commercial property and employee workstations to ensure that it supports their health and wellness. If necessary, make changes whether that means investing in ergonomic furniture, better lighting, improved cleaning methods, or completing maintenance and repairs.

2. Performance Management Systems

No matter how many employees you have, trying to manage their daily performance, growth, development, and needs is challenging. The appropriate performance management system makes these tasks easier. You can create objectives and operational checklists, track progress, give feedback, evaluate team and individual performance, and generate reports that provide insights about employee strengths, weaknesses, needs, and potential barriers.

3. Open Communication

Your employees need to know that they can talk to you. If you’re never around or fail to communicate regularly, it can lower morale and performance. Open the lines of communication by holding regular one-on-one meetings and establishing an open door policy where employees feel comfortable expressing their interests, goals, questions, or concerns.

4. Support Work-Life Balance

Expecting your employees to keep up with the demands of work while dealing with the pressures of their personal lives is counterproductive. As an employer, it is essential to support a healthy work-life balance. This means being mindful of their workloads, offering flexible scheduling, and providing support for unforeseen circumstances like mental health days, therapy, and even financial assistance.

Employees are an investment to your business’s growth and success. While you chose these individuals based on their educational and professional backgrounds and experience, there are many things that can impact their performance over time. As such, it is important for employers to understand the common causes for poor job performance and develop strategies to provide better outcomes.

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