Struggling with poor performance in your team? Discover strategies for handling performance issues at work, including Performance Improvement Plans (PIPs).
Many teams in the workplace can be affected by underperformers, employees whose work falls below average or below expectations. Underperformers act as a ‘weak link’ in the team and this can create a range of challenges for team leaders, affecting other members of the team and the company overall.
There are many reasons an employee’s performance might not be meeting expectations. These include:
If the underperformer is in probation, this is a warning sign that they are potentially not going to work out longterm, whether this is down to competence or motivation in the role. For employees that have performed well in their tenure at the company, an investigation into the root cause of the performance issues and what can be done to improve things is needed.
Underperformance can include unsatisfactory work performance, inappropriate behaviour at work which can include negative or disruptive behaviour, and non-compliance with policies, rules and procedures.
It can be tricky to deal with an underperformer in your team, but consider the cost of not doing anything about it. Here are just a few of the things which can be impacted by an underperforming employee:
The Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) should contain:
Once the plan is in place, progress should be monitored, with regular feedback and support where needed. PIPs usually last 30, 60 or 90 days, depending on how long it would reasonably take to improve the issues.
Sometimes improvements don’t happen despite your best efforts. Ultimately, the employee may not be completely happy, or fully competent, in their role and you will need to consider next steps such as a formal referral to HR, or letting the underperformer go. However the steps above should give you the best chance of successfully turning around the underperformer in your team and setting them up for success in their role.