How to turn around a poor performer

By Tayo Leigh

 16 Jun 2015     Comments

If you find that an employee is failing to perform well, you need to take time to look into the reasons for this and whether there is the potential to repair the situation. There can be all kinds of factors which affect the performance of an individual at work and it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not right for the role. If you need to turn around a poor performer, try these steps to rectify the situation.

Understand the Reasons

It is important to take the time to understand the reasons for the poor performance. For instance, the employee might be struggling with what is expected of them, they may have issues in their personal life which are taking their mind from the job. Instead of just writing them off, always take time to find out what the problem is behind the poor performance.

Lack of skills

If the issue with poor performance is down to a lack of skills in particular areas, it may be time to look at introducing some additional training. Simple steps like this can go a long way to improving overall performance for the whole organisation.

Introduce Goals and Objectives

It may be that the employee just doesn’t know what is expected of them and may not realise they are under performing. If this is the case, you may want to try introducing some goals and objectives, so they gain a better understanding of how to carry out their role more effectively.


One of the reasons for poor performance is a lack of leadership by the manager. It is important to communicate well with all employees and make sure they know they can speak about any issues they are having. In doing this, you will be able to act on the issues before they become a major problem and start to affect performance.

Assign a Mentor

If your employee needs some additional support, it may be a good idea to assign a mentor to them, someone who has a bit more experience in the role. They may find it easier to have support from a peer, rather than a manager, as they will be able to relate better to them.

Improve Morale

There may be an issue with morale in the workplace, which is causing a problem for your employee. They might just feel stressed, demotivated and may not particularly be enjoying the job much. If this is the case, it is important to take steps to improve morale in the workplace, before it starts affecting other individuals too.

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