4 Ways To Encourage A Struggling Employee

There is no denying that managers hire individuals to increase the productivity and output of the company. They look for relevant qualifications, adequate experience, necessary technical and people’s skills, and hire them to achieve the goals of the team. Most of the time, the results are rewarding. But sometimes, managers get to experience situations where a team member’s underperformance affects the functioning of the whole team. And regardless of the numerous warnings, things do not seem to get better. This leads to frustration and letdown for both the manager and the struggling employee. But before taking any serious step or firing them from the job right away, there are a few things that can be done to normalize the situation or even make it better. Let’s have a look at how you can encourage the morale of a struggling employee?

1. Understanding the Problem 

Most of the time, there is a communication gap or miscommunicating expectations between the manager and the team member that can hinder the performance?  Or their personal lives could be going through some issues or their physical or mental health? Anything could be reasoned as the root cause. And when it’s one of those team members who have always performed well in their tasks, one-to-one sessions are crucial to understanding what’s causing the problem? During these sessions, if you realize that your team member acknowledges the decline in his performance that means he is willing to work on it and maybe a little support empathy or just communication with you can help him to do better?

2. Keep Their Moves In Check 

Nobody likes to take the brunt of an underperforming employee, especially the managers. At the end of the day, all they want is the successful completion of all the tasks assigned. So, it is important for the managers to highlight any such employee who is not up to the mark and have one-to-one sessions with them. Ask them to go for casual consultations, schedule them for the training of the required skills, and don’t give them the false impression for even a second that they are doing well. If you genuinely want to give a struggling employer another chance, it’s better to tell them of their lacking performance and the standard you want them to meet. Help them to learn and improve and practice and follow through fortnightly or maybe after a month to evaluate if they are doing better.

3. Call For A Change 

The reason your good employee is struggling in meeting the organizational expectations is that they are unaware of how to succeed. It could be their first job, or a senior team member is uncooperative or the software is too hard to tackle in a short time. The mistakes are not associated with laziness, incompetence, or intellectual ability. There, as a manager is your responsibility to coach them, motivate them, and help them learn the ropes. Ask your team if there are any suggestions for improvement, if additional training is required or if the assignment needs more time to complete or the information provided is flawed or outdated? Put yourself in their shoes and think about how you can make it easier for them? Don’t threaten their job. Under fear, they will never be able to do better.

4. Avoid Confrontation Infront Of The Staff

Remember that nobody likes to be failing or performing poorly in an environment where everybody else is doing a good job. Failing is frustrating and a judgment or critical criticism over it in front of peers will do more damage than good. Plus a professional behavior does not allow a manager or a boss to reprimand a struggling or an underperforming employee in front of the other staff. Even if they are unable to perform well, that does not give any superior the right to denigrate their skills, commitment to the job, and experience. It is better to communicate your expectations from them in private, give them a roadmap to follow or help them in meeting the standard of the company, allocate a silent mentor, or just give them some extra time to rearrange their thoughts, efforts, and get back to normal. 

Rather than an outright termination, it is better to give the underperforming employee a chance to amend his behaviors and performance. Manage them out while giving them a chance and lowering the risk of litigation in case of immediate termination. Look for an approach that is more empathetic and humane and that is understanding their situation and giving them an opportunity to give their best. 

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