Managing underperforming employees is a common challenge that most managers face at some point in their career. It can be a delicate balancing act, as it requires identifying the reasons for the employee’s poor performance and developing strategies to help them improve. In this article, we will discuss effective ways on how to manage underperforming employees.

1. Communicate clearly and regularly

The first step in managing an underperforming employee is to communicate clearly and regularly. Ensure that you set clear expectations for their performance, provide feedback on their progress, and offer regular support. When an employee knows what is expected of them, they are more likely to deliver the desired results.

2. Provide Training and Support

Underperforming employees may lack the necessary skills or knowledge required to perform well in their roles. Hence, it is essential to provide regular training and support to help them improve their capabilities. Identify their weaknesses and provide specific training programs or mentorship to help them overcome these shortcomings.

3. Set Clear Goals and Objectives

Setting clear goals and objectives helps underperforming employees focus on what is expected of them. They also provide a sense of direction and purpose, which leads to increased motivation and productivity. The goals and objectives should be reasonable and achievable.

4. Implement a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP)

A PIP provides a structured approach to managing underperforming employees. The plan should be prepared in consultation with the employee and outline specific goals, timelines, and actions required to improve their performance. It should also provide regular feedback and support.

5. Recognize and Reward Improvement

Recognizing and rewarding an employee’s improvement is critical to maintaining their motivation and commitment. It encourages them to continue working towards their goals and reinforces their efforts. Recognize their achievements publicly, such as in team meetings or through company newsletters, and offer rewards such as bonuses or promotions.


Managing underperforming employees can be challenging, but it is essential for the success of any business. By communicating clearly, providing training and support, setting clear goals, implementing a PIP, and recognizing and rewarding improvement, managers can effectively manage underperforming employees and achieve their goals. Remember, patience, and consistent support can bring an employee back on track and turn around a potentially negative situation into a positive outcome.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top