Tips to Motivate your Underperforming Employees

Tips to Motivate your Underperforming Employees


A recurring problem in any corporate organization is underperforming employees who bring down the quality of work in the company. Underperformance is recognized when a person performs their duty below their skills and capabilities. An individual is taken into the company to play a certain role concerning their skills; if the individual is not performing as expected, it is known as underperformance. Underperformance can be regarding the increasing number of errors in their reports. Not complying with the company's rules and regulations or policies, not adapting to the changes, and behaving poorly with peers and teams. Lack of communication and inability to communicate properly are other factors of underperformance in an individual. There are many ways to analyze the causes of underperformance and provide strategies that would help to enhance their performing skills. Programs for leadership development can help to build the confidence of the individual and motivate them to perform according to the expected standards.

Causes of Underperformance in the Workplace

There are many reasons for the underperformance of an employee in the workplace. During the COVID-19 pandemic, people were asked to work remotely, which led to a change of environment and adaptability issues. Remote working also increases stress levels and leads to employee burnout, leading to underperformance. Some of the other causes are-

  • Lack of Motivation – One of the main causes of underperformance is the lack of motivation, where a person is unwilling to work as hard as they should. This occurs when no opportunity for growth or rewards are provided according to work standards. Lack of growth does not incentivize the employees to work hard to gain recognition in the company.


  • Too much work – A variety of different tasks altogether can cause a lot of confusion and stress. If several challenges are provided to the person every day, it becomes mundane, and there is a lack of motivation to deliver a certain standard of work. Regularly providing the same duties can become monotonous, and therefore employees can slip into a flux. In this case, programs for leadership development are important to keep the motivation up.

Tips to Enhance Performance in the Workplace

Managers or leaders find motivating team members, especially underperforming employees, challenging. A few simple tips can help you through this process-

  1. There is no I in a team – Every individual needs to understand that there is no "I" in teamwork; therefore, if one person is underperforming, it will lower the quality of work of the whole team. Managers should make this clear to their employees and team members so that everyone is supportive of each other's performances.


  2. Feedback – You must motivate your team to receive feedback and allow them to voice their opinions. Feedback is an important tool to understand individuals' likes and dislikes and the gaps in skills that can be improved further. As a manager, you need to support your team whenever necessary. However, there should also be a focus on the team's strengths. As a manager, you must provide and display the positives of teamwork and reward someone doing a good job. It is important to provide a little time for every employee on your team to come and share their thoughts with you.


  3. Programs for leadership development - Programs for leadership development, such as an influencing course, can help you understand how to improve your leadership skills to motivate your underperforming employees. An influencing course can provide you with the skills by which you can influence people to work harder and engage with their work.


  4. Avoid negativity – It is important to avoid negativity in the workplace, especially in front of your team members. Always show the positive side, encourage them to work harder, and envision a positive future.


Managing disgruntled employees and underperforming employees can be an extremely tenuous task. It is important to understand the causes of underperformance and then provide adequate measures that can help to enhance their performance. Proper leadership programs and influencing courses can support you to make changes in the company to increase productivity.


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