Whether you’re measuring performance metrics remotely or keeping an eye on employees in person, your job as a management figure is to get the best from your team and identify when and where they need improvement. Some workers can maintain a steady performance day in and day out. Others have peaks and valleys, and when they encounter those valleys, there’s usually a reason. It’s incumbent upon you to find out what those reasons are. Here are some of the most common causes of poor employee performance.
Problems at Home
Sometimes, try as we may, we cannot compartmentalize work and life. Domestic difficulties can work their way into job performance and take employees’ attention off their responsibilities. Fortunately for you and the employee in question, this is often a transient issue—one that you can resolve together. Do you or your employer offer mental health services as part of your benefits plan? This could be a boon to that employee’s performance going forward.
Even remotely, some coworkers just don’t get along. Whether it’s the result of one big blow-up or a long series of low-key seething resentments, ill will toward teammates can have an adverse effect on productivity. When this is the case, try to come up with a workaround that will keep everyone on board but out of everyday contact. Perhaps one of the employees in question can benefit from a new team lead or a lateral role change.
We all remember the gifted kids in school who performed poorly because they felt under-stimulated by a curriculum that they’d already passed surpassed. Maybe you were that gifted kid. As we grow up, school repeats itself in the workplace, and white-collar drudgery that should be easy for them isn’t quite as easy to complete. After a short burst of “proving themselves,” bad habits resurface, and they stop taking unchallenging work seriously. If your employee fits this profile, try to give them the challenge they’re thirsting for with special projects or novel assignments to make the most of their unorthodox talents.
Undiagnosed Drug Addiction
Unfortunately, not all poor showings at work are simply the result of not feeling busy enough. Issues with illegal and prescription drugs are among the most common causes of poor employee performance. Tardiness, unexcused absences, and uncharacteristic lapses in judgment are all among the warning signs of substance abuse in employees. Whether it’s white-collar work or blue-collar labor, drug use can manifest itself in the workplace. Non-remote workplaces with customer-facing duties or heavy equipment can make these issues dangerously apparent.