6 Common Employee Performance Problems & How to Solve Them - Sodexo

6 Common Employee Performance Problems & How to Solve Them

Getting the best out of the employees is not only important but also necessary for your organization. But with Filipinos being among the most emotional people in the world, dealing with performance problems in the workplace become a little challenging for managers and employers.

The success of any business depends largely on employees’ performance. However unpleasant, one of the most important parts of your job is to ensure that your people are getting their jobs done—and well.

In this article, we identified six (6) of scenarios that show performance problems in the workplace, cited possible factors why they happen, and offered solutions you may adapt to deal with each of them.

Check out if you encounter the following performance problems with your employees:

1. Your employees produce low-quality output.

Performance Problems - Failed Output

Possible Reason/s: Your people may not know what to do or how to do the tasks you assigned them. They may have insufficient knowledge about the task at hand. Or, you may have incorrectly assumed your employees’ skill level.

What To Do: Train (or re-train) your people on how to do get the job done. Set and communicate clear expectations.  Then, reinforce the importance of the standards you’ve set.

Just because they failed to meet your expectations doesn’t mean your employees are incompetent. It’s possible that they may have not used a specific skill for a certain period and need a refresher course. Sometimes, job requirements may have changed, and an advanced skill set should be learned.

2. Your employees are always late or absent.

Performance Problems - Tardiness

Possible Reason/s: Lost time affects productivity. Behaviors like being late or absent most days of the week and excessive procrastination can be attributed to lack of motivation at work. If that’s not the case, your employees may be encountering uncontrollable obstacles in the workplace.

What To Do: Workplace demotivation is often caused by stress. There are effective ways to motivate employees, although stressors may differ for every situation. While you’re not obligated to address each of them, it’s important that you understand them at the very least.

Sometimes, the cause of stress include organizational policies and procedures that prevent employees from performing well. Obstacles like this, if can be simplified, will help your employees do a good job.

3. Your employees fail to finish tasks on time.

Too Much Work

Possible Reason/s: When your employee has multiple tasks in a day, chances are they focus only on one task at the expense of others. They become trapped in the speed-or-quality dilemma and don’t prioritize tasks properly.

What To Do: Teach your employees the concept of the ‘genius of the AND’ or the ability to embrace both extremes. There shouldn’t be a battle between speed OR quality. It should be speed AND quality.

That is, of course, given that you give them a reasonable workload.

4. Your employees lack commitment.

Performance Problems - Demotivation

Possible Reason/s: It’s not clear to your employees why they need to do what they are supposed to do. Or, they may be going through a tough time and need to be understood.

What To Do: Explain the business reasons for your standards. Keep your employees engaged and loyal. Let them know about the personal benefits they can get once they meet your expectations. Majority of employees, during times like this, need a gentle nudge to get themselves back on track.

Have a direct conversation with them about how they are failing to meet your expectations. If that doesn’t work, let them know and experience the negative consequences that come with their underperformance. But make sure to take it slowly. Don’t punish employees immediately for not doing a good job.

5. Your employees don’t listen and refuse to do what you ask of them.

Possible Reason/s: You may be micromanaging them, controlling everything they are doing down to the last detail. They may have ideas they think are helpful, but you refuse to listen.

What To Do: You have your people to help you. Let them. It’s possible that they challenge your instructions because it doesn’t make sense to them. Really listen to their ideas. Use—or at least try—their ideas instead of rejecting it outright. If they have concerns, address them.

One of the clichés we often forget or fail to understand is that respect goes both ways. Deal with performance challenges like this in an open and respectful manner.

6. Your employees are hostile and they create unnecessary tension within the team.

Performance Problems - Teamwork Problems

Possible Reason/s: Bad workplace relations can be brought about by a variety of factors. Few of them are behaviors like gossiping/bullying, office politics, clashing of ideas, or stressful environment. Employee disputes can infect the workplace and ultimately affect employee performance.

What To Do: As a business leader, you should get an initial read on what's at the heart of the matter in order to avoid or resolve conflicts. Listen to both sides. Once you understand the core problem, you should be able to encourage your people to work it out themselves. In extreme situations where you'll be forced to step in, you have to nip it in the bud as quickly as you can. Let them know that, regardless of position or tenure, their bad behavior can lead to disciplinary action.

Final Thoughts

Performance problems vary per organization. No two problems are going to be exactly the same. It’s going to be different for every employee, every situation. Understanding why these common performance problems happen is key to properly addressing them.

Nonetheless, it’s one thing to know what to do. It’s another thing to go ahead and actually do it. You may think, “I’m too busy for this. I have other important tasks to do.” And that’s true. But remember: you have to get things done through your people. You won’t be able to do everything by yourself. It’s part of the job to fix performance problems.

Read Related Article: 3 Most Common Employee Relation Issues in the Philippines

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