What to Do When a Top Employee is Suddenly Underperforming

As a leading New England staffing management firm, Stewart Staffing understands that when you have a great employee who is suddenly missing the mark with their performance, it can be a frustrating experience. But before you hit the panic button, take a step back and take stock. Here’s what to do to deal with a typically strong employee who’s underperforming:

Talk about it.

Don’t avoid the situation and let it escalate. Instead, confront your employee. Schedule some private time and talk to them about the situation. Don’t put them on the defensive. Simply bring up the issue and offer some specific examples of what you’ve been noticing.

Don’t do all the talking.

Once you get the problem out in the open, make sure you give your employee plenty of time to offer you their side of it. They could be facing issues at home, or could be disengaged at work due to lack of training or a situation you’re not aware of. Think of this as the discovery phase where your goal is to uncover why things are going wrong, not necessarily to devise a solution to the performance issue.

Be mindful of what you say.

When an employee is failing to meet your expectations, it can impact productivity and profitability. This can certainly cause you a lot of stress. But don’t let your anxiety or irritation show through by berating the employee. You want to be honest with them, but also sensitive, too.

Discuss next steps.

Once the issue is on the table and you know where the problem lies, you can talk about ways to deal with it. If it’s an issue due lack of support or training, you can offer your employee the additional resources they need to get back on track. If the problem is more personal in nature, then talk about what the employee needs from you or from the company to navigate through the situation.

Monitor and follow up.

Once the conversation is over, it’s important to closely monitor your employee and ensure they’re implementing the feedback you gave them. Also, touch base with them regularly to find out if they have any additional concerns or questions.

Need help recruiting and retaining the right people for your team?

Call the experts at Stewart Staffing. As a leading New England staffing management firm, we have the experience and proven processes to shorten your time to hire – so you can bring on board the people you need with the skills, experience and drive to deliver.

Give us a call today to learn more about how we can help.

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