Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Low-Performers

July 22, 201411:46 pm326 views

Poor performers in an organisation may not be the result of lack of knowledge, skills and talent – they may be the result of mismatched skills.

Many of the bottom percent of poor performers can be the result of bad hire in the initial phases of recruitment. Even after the bottom percent of the employees are let go, leaders are left with poor performers. Employees that do just enough to get the job done.

Compensating Low Performers

Organisations rarely compensate low performers with the same incentives and recognition as mid to high performing employees.  Although performances are low, they are still present and should be rewarded according and not ignored.

Dealing with Low Performers

Talent managers need to establish the reason behind the low performance. Why are the high standards not being met? Is the employee going through a personal crisis such as illness, divorce, financial hardship or alcoholism? Is the employee mismatched in the job at hand?

Personal Crisis

If the employee is previously seen as a strong performer in the organisation, talent managers should take that knowledge into account. Employee’s will feel more at ease and less overwhelmed by stress when the situation is acknowledged and will further supported by providing a leave of absence with the notion that they won’t be penalized.

Skill-set and Knowledge

If the employee is struggling for reasons such as lack of a specific skill-set, knowledge, and/or experience, talent managers need to address the issues and provide specialised training programs, mentoring programs and more consistent performance feedback. Learning more about one’s actual role and how to perform better increases the ability to perform stronger.


The employee may be underperforming due to the the management of the leader. Talent managers find that if employees are guided in the wrong direction or inconsistant direction their performance suffers.

Managers are required to lead their team in an efficient and effective manner; to be visionaries as well as detailed focused. In this case, it is not the employee that needs to be penalized – it is the manager.

Training programs should be provided to employees throughout the organisation to help benefit the individual as well as the overall performance strength.

Resources & Further Reading

Gale, S. F. (2014, July 18). Don’t Ignore Low-Performers.

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