Consistent positive performance from any employee can be hard to find. Sometimes the performance has to due with personal underlying personal issues, sometimes it has something to do with the product, and sometimes it has to due with seasonality. The reality is you do not really know what is going on with the employee until you ask, and a performance appraisal is recommended.

As a leader, it is our job to ask them why they are performing so poorly in a nice way. It is necessary to have a one on one to go over what choices are keeping them from the results they want to see. You need to find out what is limiting them and how they are stuck, so you can help pull them out of the mud.

Here are some questions to ask your under-performing employee on a one-on-one meeting to help get to the route of the problem so you can help them succeed:

  1. Where do you see opportunities to improve your performance?
  2. How have you been feeling about your performance lately?
  3. What part of work here do you feel stuck?
  4. What part of work here is motivating?
  5. What part of work here is inspiring?
  6. Do you feel you are playing to your strengths in this role?
  7. When is the last time you were able to connect with a customer?
  8. What problems have you been trying to solve but you feel stuck in a rut?
  9. What tasks are boring for you?
  10. Would you like more opportunities through other members or departments in the company?
  11. Do you feel like there is a steep learning curve for you?
  12. Do you feel you are optimistic about yourself in the company?
  13. What are your near term goals?
  14. What can I do to help you succeed?
  15. Are their any tools or resources we can provide you to help you achieve better results?

Managing people can be tough, but the more you communicate honestly and clearly the more the employee will respect you. You have a commitment to the company to lead as best as you can to help motivate your employees to do and be their best.

Make sure you are setting short and long term goals and measuring them with Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that will help reflect clear progress.

What have you done to help an under-performing employee?

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