How to inspire under-performing employees
Provide regular feedback and monitor progress consistently. (Shutterstock)
Hi! I’m the owner of a family business in Abu Dhabi. We have 20 employees working with us, and sometimes it happens that one or two of them are having a bad day and not performing well. I know that losing their job will cause my employees and their families financial distress. So how can I motivate my underperforming staff without writing them off? Hiba H.
Hi Hiba. Dealing with underperforming employees is one of the most difficult tasks a manager must perform. It’s not always easy to identify the main causes of an employee’s poor performance and solving the problem takes a lot of time and effort. In fact, poor performance in the workplace can drag down your entire team and prevent your company from achieving its full potential. It can also lead to low productivity, increased employee turnover and loss of profitability.
Here are four tips to help you motivate underperforming employees and get them back on the right track:
1. Communicate often and openly
One of our values at Bayt.com is to communicate often and openly. Dealing with poor performance requires transparent communication where everyone’s concerns and thoughts are freely expressed. According to the Bayt.com ‘Work Satisfaction in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA)’ poll, November 2012, 70% of professionals in the MENA region agree that they have open communication channels at their workplace. Do not wait for the annual performance evaluation to provide feedback. Managers should pay attention to an employee’s behavior and performance on a consistent basis. Make sure to discuss the goals and priorities of your employees and monitor their progress on a regular basis. Employees will feel more important and perform better when they know exactly what is expected of them.
2. Let their work be meaningful
Make your employees feel that their work is appreciated and has a higher purpose. The Bayt.com ‘What Makes a Company an Attractive Place to Work?’ poll, February 2014, reveals that five in 10 professionals in the MENA would want to work in a place where they feel their work is part of a greater purpose. Help your employees see the direct connection between their efforts and company success. This will help them not only perform to the best of their ability, but also be proud of their achievements. Also make sure to involve them in the decision making process to help them feel a sense of ownership and responsibility towards your company.
3. Invest in training and development
Offering training opportunities to your employees is one of the best ways to increase their productivity at work. It’s important that you have an investment strategy that keeps them engaged. Due to changing trends in today’s economy it becomes pivotal for employees to be up-to-date with necessary skills. In fact, 35% of professionals feel that they do not have all the resources they need to do their job well, as shown in the Bayt.com ‘Employee Engagement in the MENA’ poll, March 2014. So make sure to train your employees appropriately and provide them with the necessary tools to do their jobs to the best of their ability.
4. Recognize and reward
According to the Bayt.com ‘Learning in the Workplace in the Middle East and North Africa’ poll, March 2015, 64% of professionals say that people in their organization are rewarded for learning. A simple word of recognition for a job well done has the potential to increase your employees’ productivity in ways you never imagined. When you do a better job of recognizing your employees, they tend to perform better.
By Suha Mardelli Haroun
This article originally appeared in bayt.com.
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