Improve Low Performing Staff at Your Workplace


Recognising that different people perform differently in your workplace is a normal part of any business. Performance can depend on (i) ability (ii) experience and/or (iii) training. While some staff may have a lower “output” level than others, they may still be performing to his or her ability. But what happens when you start to see performance dropping and the cause is not down to one of these three factors?


Low performance might instead be due to laziness, bad attitude or lack of accountability – which in turn can have a really negative impact on your business. As well as this, low performers can take up an inordinate amount of management time, creating negativity in the team and having an overall negative effect in the workplace.


Effects of Low Performers

  • Low performing individuals can often be the negative or complaining ones. They tend to drain energy from the rest of the team and cause others to focus on problems rather than solutions.
  • Team members know the low performer(s) exist(s) and tend to talk about it thus perpetuating gossip and complaints and lowering morale.
  • Team members see clearly how the low performers are not functioning efficiently, and that causes a “why should I work as hard as I do” attitude. This limits the effectiveness of an otherwise higher performing individual.
  • Managers or other team members have to correct the mistakes or solve the problems caused by lower performing team members reducing efficiency and increasing complaints.
  • Leaders are often criticized for not dealing with the low performer thus causing trust to diminish or leadership effectiveness to be questioned.

In contrast high performing individuals make major contributions but are typically few in number. Medium level performers often make up most of the team. Low performers can be few in number but will have a strong, negative impact on the team. They can decrease morale, influence others to work less and limit the ultimate potential of the entire team to develop and grow as a collective unit.

One way to deal with low performance is to find it, work to improve it or outright remove it from the workplace. One strategy to help prevent low performance is to use a variety of accountability tools, such as a good review system, maintaining “Contracts of Expectations” (What, by whom by when?), clarifying roles and responsibilities, and using Team Agreements. All of these methods can help prevent low performance in individuals or reveal it when it exists so that it can be treated appropriately.

Contact Capaciti on 1300 347 960 to help you manage poor performing staff in your team.