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How would you deal with underperformance as an employer?
If you have people working for you, how do you deal with a person who is underperforming lately?

This is a tricky one. Being a business manager is tough. You need to think about so many different and difficult things at once. Having or maintaining a good product or service is important. You have to keep track of your costs and earnings.  Marketing, legal and other aspects of a business. But being a good people manager is key for developing a long lasting healthy company. Without your employees, you're nothing. But an individual of your staff could underperform. If you don't act quickly on this situation, you could face a major problem. 

There are 2 main reasons why someone is underperforming. 

- Demotivated


Being demotivated is something we all face once in a while. I think most of us know that "monday feeling"  when going to work. You could feel tired or just having a bad day. As a manager you don't have to be worried about this. It's perfectly normal. It starts being a problem when someone is demotivated all the time. There could be several reasons. One of them is ,like always, money. Being underpaid sucks. So why should you put in the effort if you're not being paid correctly. You could give this person a raise. It's a direct impact. But you could also be more creative and tell him/her they could earn a bonus when performing well. It saves you money short term but will gain you money long term. 

One other reason of being demotivated is no opportunity to get a promotion or to grow within the company.  This hard to solve You can't just invent new jobs or promote someone. Try having a good conversion with the employee and talk about the future of the company and how they fit in.

A lack of education is a big one. Fortunately this could be solved quite easily. You could organize workshops or send your employee to a training. Tell the employee you expect more of them and that gaining more knowledge will be much appreciated. Motivate them! In turn they could become more important and more actively engaged with the company and actually make you more money. Or equally decisive, save money!


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This is in response to the question above posed by @pangoli

The first step in dealing with underperformance is to determine the underlying cause of the problem.  If this is a new employee you monitor their performance during a probationary period.  You use periodic reviews with the employee to ensure that they know your expectations.  You have to make sure they have proper training and know how to perform the job.  You need to let the employee know if he is not performing up to your expectation and you need to get feedback from them as to what they need to be able to improve.

If this an employee that you have had for awhile, past a probationary period, and they are still underperforming, they have never been able increase in competence and master the job you will have to consider either assigning them a new position or even letting them go.  That is a good reason why you need to have regular valuations during the probationary period so that you know you have addressed the problem all along and have documentation to support a termination.  

If this is an employee who has been with you for some time and has always performed satisfactorily in the past, this will require some investigation as to the nature of the downfall and the underlying cause.  For instance, if this employee starts being late to work or missing work, and has never done so in the past, this is a sign of a personal problem.  You have to have a job discussion about the behavior and let the employee know what is not acceptable and the consequences that it will have if the behavior continues.  This is the time get feedback from the employee and offer whatever assistance is available.  

If this is an employee who has been in the past a good employee and is now showing signs of underperforming, again you have to have a job discussion to determine the reason.  Perhaps the job has become mundane and not challenging.  Of course not all jobs can be made challenging, but this might be a sign that this employee is ready for more responsibility, a promotion, or a more complicated job.

A couple of more reasons that a good employee can become an underperformer:

 -A feeling of a lack of appreciation.  Employees get told when they do something wrong, they also need to be told when they are doing something right.  They also need to feel part of the team and that their contribution is meaningful.  Someone with pride in their work and a sense of accomplishment will be a better performer.  The solution is to give out appreciation, even a simple thank you showing that you are noticing their contribution.

-Having others in the workplace being an obvious underperformer and nothing is done is about it.  When co-workers aren't doing their job and causing others to take up the slack, it causes moral to go down and the good employees lose incentive to work hard.  The solution is to deal with poor performer and hold everyone to the same standards.

The bottom line in dealing with this problem with individual employees is communication, feedback, and followup.


If it's underperforming lately then I guess the next thing to do is that, just have to ask the person why they are not doing their best at the moment as they can. What is the problem that they have in their life.

Well, me being an employee for so long as also now not an employee understands roughly and slightly how it is to be an employee. Sometimes I guess they are bored of their job so it's better to get a view of what their thinking, if it's true that the are getting bored of their job, it's better to ask them if they want to find another job.

If it's a sales position and they din make that much sales lately, maybe the economy is not doing well. So give them some time and get them to reduced goals first before achieving higher goals as they were given in the past.

Ask if they have any personal issue and you could provide counseling as it is a great feeling not because of the money from a company but from the concern of the boss to see how the employee is doing in their life. Maybe they are having some problems in their life but they find no answers.

Maybe the task given recently is too difficult and they felt that its almost unachievable so they give up. Maybe give a bit of motivation or rotate the job to see if any performances difference or not.

If all else fails, then just give a warning letter and let the employee clearly know the consequences of not performing to the peak and what is gonna happen.


As an employer. I will always try to be friendly as much as I can with my employees and make them see reasons to work hard.

When it comes to underperformance, I will have to be more strict and discipline as to the performance of my workers.

If the employee is someone who has a good has had a good reputation and has contributed positively to the growth of my firm, I will have to talk sense into him. 

I will let them know that any of my staffs who does not perform well after being warned will either be suspended or fired.

I will not have any reason to compromise with any employee's underperformance because it has to do with my company.

Underperformance by workers can cause a fall in a company and can even cause the company to go bankrupt.

I will also let the workers see reason to always be punctual to work.


First have a good talk with your employees. Try to find out where the problem is. Maybe something can changed, maybe there is a reason for that underperformance.

If however they underperform for no reason at all. warn them that they might loose their job, If still nothing changes you might consider getting better employees. Otherwise you endanger your company and its future.


Give ‘em cocaine at work for a week and see how they pick up... 😂😈