Top reasons for poor employee performance

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Let us have a look at the top reasons for poor employee performance because employers need to know this for not only improving the Organization’s performance but also to ensure that the employee morale is not down. 

1. Goals and objectives are not defined or not clear

top reasons for poor employee performance

One of the top reasons for the poor employee performance is that the Organisational leadership and the managers either do not set the goals or even if they set it is not clear as to what are the actual roles, responsibilities, authorities and objectives for the employee under consideration.  Because the employee does not know on what are the individual and team objectives, he or she may over focus and over perform on certain tasks that are not so crucial, but under-perform in certain tasks that are crucial to success of the team and the Organisation. So, to avoid this, firstly, leaders at all levels should set SMART goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. Secondly, the roles, responsibilities, authorities and Key result areas must also be specified so that the employees know what is expected out of them and can effectively work towards those aspects.  

2. Very less or no training

Training employees right from their on-boarding into the company and through their work span is very crucial for the positive development of both the Organisation as well as on the personal front of the employees. Organisations providing no training or very less training (be it on-the-job or classroom or both) will have to suffer from the outputs of poor performances. It is often thought that by recruiting an experienced person, training may not be required. This is not true because irrespective of the work experiences in companies elsewhere, we provide training to ensure that the employee knows the Organisational way of doing things, its beliefs, its values and its culture so that the desired performance levels are achieved. And, for freshers or inexperienced people, training is crucial in moulding them into the Organisational practices. While the Big Corporate in this World know about this, it is the smaller companies that do not consider training as a building block of their Organisational growth. They simply think that they do not have the time for training or they are not interested because no matter how much they train employees leave. But what they do not realise is that if they do not train, they will be paying for a bad performing employee for many months or years ! 

3. No good Management systems and no good business practices

One more important of the top reasons for the poor employee performance is that Organisations do not have good management systems that institute best industry business practices in to the Organisations. These management systems can be that of Quality, health and safety, environment, information security, etc which follow International standard requirements like the ISO standards for instance. Therefore, in the absence of these systems, employees work in an ad-hoc, inefficient and ineffective manner that never guarantee results. This leads to low performances and more number of errors or defects in carrying out the tasks.  This is undesirable for an Organisation and its employees. Employers must establish and sustain good management systems that lay the foundation for the continued growth and improvement of the Organisation.

4. Workload

Workload also determines the performance level of the employees in a significant manner. Lower workload can lead to dissatisfaction of the employees who may lose interest in doing the work and hence will drive their performance south or lead to low performance.  In case of excessive workload, the employees have to carry constant work burden that may buckle them down and can lead to low performance in their work. Therefore, it is an important job for the leadership and managers to assess this workload carrying capacity of an employee and balance the workload so that they continue to get consistently good performances from the employees. Otherwise, due to excessive work stress, a burnout may result and the performance can dip to undesirable levels.  Good automation and technology can be of great assistance that can improve performance level of the employees.

5. Harassment, discrimination and bullying

Another top reason for the poor employee performance is the negative psychological effect on the employee mind. These negative psychological effects including but not limited to harassment, discrimination, bullying, etc. These effects demotivate the employee and decreases his/her confidence level which surely has a negative effect on the work performance. Typically in a big organisation, anti-harassment policies and committees are formed to tackle this situation. In smaller organizations, it is important for the Top Management to keep a constant vigil on any of these bad incidents so that they can nip it in the bud and will not allow it to grow to a level that brings down the employee and organisational performances.

6. Old equipment and equipment failure

Equipment also plays a major role in determining the performance of the employees. Equipment can be machinery or IT equipment such as laptops or desktops or any other work related equipment. Old equipment that are prone to repeated failures or equipment that are not up to date can hamper the performance of an employee. Employers and managers have to make arrangements to replace old ageing equipment with new equipment with latest technologies that are fast and efficient.

7. Peer work pressure due to their absenteeism

When co-workers in an Organisation are absent on particular days, it puts extra pressure on the employees who are present on that day. Due to this, the workload on these employees may suddenly increase and eventually can lead to lower efficiency and performance levels. So, it is important for the managers to anticipate such situations in advance and make suitable contingency plans to manage them from the performance perspective. It is also equally important to control absenteeism of many employees on a given day that adds undue work pressure to their peers.

The article is authored by Sudhir GK, CEO and Management Consultant, Iprofaz Job Consultants

(c) all rights are reserved by the author

The above article on top reasons for poor employee performance is not exhaustive and if you feel that you have another important reason, please write to us at [email protected]