How Do You Manage Underperforming Staff Members?

One of the challenges of a manager’s job is how do you manage underperforming staff. It can be difficult and frustrating when employees are not meeting expectations but it is your responsibility to ensure that everyone on your team meets their goals.

Do you know how to effectively handle the situation when dealing with an underperforming employee? Do you manage underperforming staff in ways that will help them improve or have negative consequences for both of you?

In this blog post, we’ll discuss some strategies on how do you manage underperforming staff so you can help your team members succeed.

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How Do You Manage Underperforming Staff?

It is important to be able to recognize signs of underperformance in the workplace. Common indicators include a decrease in productivity, missed deadlines, poor quality work, and increased absenteeism or tardiness. Other signs may include difficulty completing tasks on time, lack of initiative or enthusiasm for projects, and resistance to change.

There are many potential causes for underperformance in the workplace. These can range from personal issues such as stress or health problems to professional issues such as inadequate training or resources. Poor management practices can also lead to underperforming employees if they feel unsupported or unappreciated by their supervisors.

One of the first steps in how do you manage underperforming staff is setting performance standards. This includes setting measurable goals that are achievable within a reasonable timeframe and providing regular feedback on progress toward those goals.

Additionally, it is important to ensure that employees have access to the necessary tools and resources needed to meet expectations, as well as provide support when needed so they feel empowered and motivated in their roles.

Communicating with Underperforming Staff

Effective communication is key when managing underperforming staff. It’s important to create an open dialogue with the employee and ensure they feel comfortable discussing their performance issues.

Start by scheduling a meeting with the employee and setting aside enough time for both parties to express their thoughts without interruption. During this conversation, be sure to listen carefully and avoid making assumptions or judgments about the situation.

Once you have established a dialogue, it’s important to understand why the employee is underperforming. Ask questions that will help you gain insight into what may be causing them difficulty in their roles such as a lack of resources, unclear expectations, or personal issues outside of work. This will help you identify potential solutions that can improve their performance going forward.

After understanding why an employee is underperforming, develop an action plan together. Ensure these goals are realistic and achievable so that progress can be monitored effectively on both sides.

Additionally, provide additional support such as training opportunities or access to new resources to further help your underperforming employee in improving job performance.

Implementing Strategies to Improve Performance

Providing coaching and mentoring support is a key strategy for improving employee performance. A manager should provide employees with guidance and feedback to help them understand their roles better and become more successful in the workplace. This can include providing clear instructions on tasks or projects, offering constructive criticism when needed, and giving recognition for accomplishments.

Additionally, managers should encourage employees to ask questions if they are unsure of something or need clarification on an assignment.

Setting clear goals and expectations is essential for improving employee performance. Managers should communicate expectations clearly at the beginning of any project or task so that there is no confusion about what needs to be done. It’s also important to provide regular updates throughout the process so that employees know how they are progressing toward meeting those goals.

Monitoring progress and adjusting strategies as needed is essential for ensuring that employees stay on track with their work assignments. Regular check-ins with staff members can help keep everyone informed of progress made thus far. This also allows managers to identify areas where additional training may be necessary or where processes could be improved upon.

Taking Corrective Action When Necessary

Taking corrective action when necessary is an important part of managing people. It can be difficult to address poor performance, but it is essential for maintaining a productive workplace.

Document Poor Performance

Documenting poor performance is the first step in taking corrective action. This involves recording any instances of substandard work or behavior and noting the date, time, and other relevant details. Doing this helps ensure that all employees are held accountable for their actions and provides evidence if further disciplinary measures become necessary.

Implement Company Policies and Procedures

When taking corrective action, it’s important to follow company policies and procedures carefully. This includes understanding what type of discipline may be appropriate depending on the situation.

how do you manage underperforming staff


Supporting Employees Through Change

Supporting employees through change can be a difficult task for managers. It is important to create an environment of trust and open communication as well as provide resources for professional development.

Encourage Open Communication

Managers should foster an atmosphere where employees feel comfortable speaking up about their concerns or questions related to the changes taking place in the workplace. This could include setting aside time during team meetings or providing anonymous feedback forms that allow employees to express their thoughts without fear of repercussions.

Additionally, managers should make sure they are actively listening and responding appropriately when employees do speak up.

Create an Environment of Trust

In order for open communication to take place, it is essential that there is a level of trust between management and staff members. This means creating policies that protect employee rights and ensuring all decisions are made with fairness in mind.

Managers should also strive to maintain transparency by keeping staff informed on any changes occurring within the organization.

Change can often bring new challenges which require additional skills or knowledge in order to succeed. To help support their teams through this transition period, managers should offer access to resources such as training programs, online courses, or mentorship opportunities so employees can seamlessly adapt to new roles.

FAQs About How Do You Manage Underperforming Staff

What do you say to an underperforming employee?

Come to the conversation prepared with solutions that will benefit both you and the employer. Ask what help they may need from you, and be willing to go the extra mile to meet their needs.

How do you fix an underperforming team?

  • Realize you’re not in this alone.
  • Accept the feedback with a caveat.
  • Ask for more clarity and support from your superior.
  • Take a fresh look at your leadership style.
  • Co-create a team goal.
  • Think about your future.


How do you manage underperforming staff? Managing underperforming staff can be a difficult and challenging task, but it is an important part of your job. By identifying the underlying causes of underperformance, implementing strategies to improve performance, and taking corrective action when necessary, you can help ensure that your team members are successful in their roles.

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