How to Recognise, and then Effectively Deal with Poor Work Performance
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How to Recognise, and then Effectively Deal with Poor Work Performance

If managerial control is sloppy or non-existent, employee work performance can evaporate in the blink of an eye – and the detrimental effect on the organization can be enormous. If monitored regularly, before the problem gets out of hand, it can save costs, both to the employee and the organization.

 Recognizing an dealing with poor work performance

Undoubtedly one of the most important tasks facing any manager is evaluating staff performance. Strictly speaking, of course, this activity should be ongoing, day-to-day activity. The prospect of not doing this will render the manager unable to make sound decisions regarding promotion, transfer, counseling and even dismissal. The pinpointing of unsatisfactory employee performance is vital because it can open the door to a facet of remedial steps.

But what is performance evaluation?

Performance Evaluation embraces 3 facets:

  • Observation and identification – the routine involved in viewing certain job behaviors
  • Measurement – the comparison of how a job SHOULD be performed against actual
  • Development – actual job improvement or degradation over time

How do we go about this process?

1. Become aware of the Red Flags

If managerial control is sloppy or non-existent, employee work performance can evaporate in the blink of an eye – and the detrimental effect on the organization can be enormous. If monitored regularly, before the problem gets out of hand, it can save costs, both to the employee and the organization.

2. The outward signs of Poor Performance

  • Missed deadlines
  • Dilly-dallying on job
  • Time wasting
  • Untidiness in dress, and workspace
  • High accident rate
  • Decline in work quality
  • Complaints – from staff or customers
  • Excessive waste of materials
  • Sloppy attitude – apparent tiredness (constantly yawning etc) drop in enthusiasm, slipping concentration
  • Up and down performance
  • Hiccups in fulfilling requests, specific tasks and responsibilities
  • Regular failure to attend to important details
  • Lack of judgment and poor decisions
  • Overall decline in standards

3. Check the attendance register or clocking in

A number of factors need to be taken into account:

  • Regular late-coming
  • Knocking off early
  • Absenteeism, especially on Mondays and a t month-end after pay-day
  • Abnormally long lunch breaks
  • Time off for flippant reasons

All of, or any one of the foregoing could be just the tip of the iceberg, pointing to more serious problems

4. Sick Leave syndrome

Poor job performance could be a smokescreen for real or feigned illness, and then either physical or psychological issues. The signs to loom out for:

  • Regular minor excuses regarding illness
  • Higher frequency than that of other employees
  • Recurring incidence of illness
  • Physical illness more serious

5. Specific signals of determining behavior

  • Sudden mood changes
  • Trembling – related to many causes, such as drinking, medication etc
  • Alcohol breath
  • Loss of memory
  • Sloppy appearance (clothing, men not shaving, make up poor for women)
  • Speech difficulties
  • Prevalence of abusive language
  • Destruction of property (cars, desk, tools etc)
  • Blatant hostility

6. The underlying causes of personality changes

  • Highly emotional or undue aggression
  • Flashes of irritability
  • A move to moodiness, coupled with unpredictable behavior
  • Sustained effort difficult – works in spurts
  • Actual violence
  • Ducking out of face-to-face contact with others
  • Over the top reaction to actual or imagined criticism
  • A general move toward withdrawal

7. Correcting the problem

The solution to the problem could embrace a few options, such as:

  • Mentoring
  • Re-training
  • Coaching
  • Counseling
  • Demotion
  • Transfer
  • Termination

 Images by courtesy of Stock.xchng

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Comments (6)

An extremely well written article Colin

Thanks for your comment and vote Beverly

Nicely explained

Thanks Deepak

excellent article, sorry I have not been around much this month, it has been very busy for me

Glad you have been busy! Thanks for your positive comment Carol!

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