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How to diagnose poor performance

by , 16 April 2015
Large companies hire experts to deal with performance issues. But most SMEs won't take this step and sometimes even ignore the idea that an employee performance problem might cause important and negative effects.

But before you wait for the disasterous end, it's much wiser to identify or diagnose poor performance.

Here's how...

Get to its roots and remove poor performance before it cripples your business

Note that incorrect diagnoses can lead to lots of problems later on. That's why it's important to pay attention in case you believe an employee is not making enough of an effort, you'll likely put increased pressure on him or her to perform. As a consequence, if the real issue is ability, as mindtools.com explains, then increased pressure may only make the poor performance problem worse.

According to the same source, low ability may be associated with very difficult tasks, low aptitudes and skills, strong effort despite poor performance and lack of improvement over time.

Here are the five ways you can use to overcome poor performance problems in your company

1. Resupply

Check what resources you've provided and make sure your employees have all they need to complete their task and do a good job. Ask them if they need something extra, identify what they see as inadequate and check all claims on the topic by making an investigation yourself.

2. Retrain

Additional training should be provided and you should make sure your employees are still in touch with the novelties in the field.

There are various types of retraining you can provide:
  •     Training seminars with in-house or external providers.
  •     Computer-based training (CBT).
  •     Simulation exercises.
  •     Subsidised college or university courses.

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3. Refit

Sometimes, it can be the case that you have to refit the job to the person. You'll have to try and see if you can change current tasks so that everyone is pleased with the work, feeling responsible and also rewarded.

4. Reassign

In case the present method doesn't work, you can reassign the job, but never  use demotion as a punishment tactic. Never think that poor performance is willingly done. Instead, make sure that each assigned job is both challenging and stimulating.

5. Release

All tried and no result, there's only one final step you can do: let the employee go. But make sure you have checked and applied the above methods in order to make sure you've properly identified the causes for poor performance.

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