Organizations are always on the lookout for top-performing individuals, candidates who can become new employees and drastically impact the bottom line. However, what about current employees?

Of course, you want to retain your best employees. And once you hire more superstars, you want to retain them, too. But what if you have underperforming employees in your organization? How should you deal with them?

First of all, how do you spot such employees? In actuality, that is rather easy:

  • They don’t contribute much value (in whatever way value is measured within the organization or by the individual’s job description).
  • They don’t show enthusiasm for what they do.
  • They’re not engaged, either in their job or in the organization overall.
  • They don’t seem to fit into the company culture.

And this is just a starter list. It’s plenty, though, if you’re looking to identify employees who are underperforming.

Now, there are basically two types of underperforming employees: those that an organization removes relatively quickly and those that stick around for a while. You might wonder about the latter scenario. Why would an organization allow an underperforming employee to remain on the payroll for an extended period of time if they’ve been underperforming for nearly the entirety of that time?

There is a litany of reasons, including the following:

  • The employee was highly productive in the past.
  • The employee has been with the organization for a long time.
  • The employee was responsible for the creation of a product and/or service that brought the organization considerable revenue.

However, all of these reasons are past considerations. What’s important is the present (and the future). That’s why management must deal with and address underperforming employees, regardless of who they are or what they’ve done in the past.

With all of this in mind, below is a three-pronged plan of attack for dealing with underperforming employees:


It’s always good to gather as much information as you possibly can about the situation. Perhaps the person is enduring a tough personal setback or something else about which you do not know. Sit down with the employee and have a conversation. Ask them if there’s something they need in order to do their job better and if they’re enjoying their work. The might just come right out and tell you what’s wrong.

#2—Make suggestions for improvement.

Try the collaborative approach. Secure their buy-in regarding the changes that are needed. If possible, put together a plan that both of you can implement and execute.

#3—Challenge the employee to improve their performance.

This is where you set concrete expectations for the employee, especially if you do assemble a plan together. They need to know what is expected of them. And it should also be inferred that there will be consequences if they do not meet expectations in a timely manner.

There could be any number of reasons why employees within your organization are not engaged. If there appears to be many of them, perhaps there is a problem within the organization. It could indicate a troubling trend that needs to be addressed at a deeper level.

Regardless of whether you’re dealing with one underperforming employee or 10, an experienced recruiting agency can help. Recruiters have the knowledge and expertise to help organizations find top talent within the employment marketplace—top talent that you can use to bolster your already superstar workforce . . . or replace underperforming employees.

These days, the marketplace is highly competitive for employers. You need every advantage and edge that you can get, and a search consultant can give you one.

If you’re looking to hire exceptional candidates, then we invite you to connect with our team today and see what The Doepker Group can do for your organization.

We also invite you to click HERE to find out even more about the many services that we offer to employers.

By | 2022-09-03T20:43:42+00:00 September 21st, 2022|Hiring|0 Comments

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