4 Essential Cues – How to Identify Underperforming Employees

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Employees who fail to fulfill their responsibilities cost companies time and money. Learning how to identify underperforming employees is crucial to the organization’s overall success. Honing in on top talent and inspiring those who fall behind gives management a competitive advantage, so developing human resources is the greatest asset to any organization. With that in mind, learn how to identify underperforming employees by observing them for one or more of the four essential clues they aren’t performing up to par.

4 Essential Cues – How to Identify Underperforming Employees

identify-underperforming-employees1. Complaints From Customers or Colleagues

One of the critical indicators a worker is not doing the job right is getting complaints from customers or colleagues. If an employee fails to perform correctly, it harms customer interactions and burdens the other workers. When this happens, it also impacts the company’s brand and reputation.

Instead of waiting for complaints, implement the best employee performance tracking tools to keep track of each worker’s progress. If an employee falls behind or fails to meet their objectives, take disciplinary action to let the worker know they must do better in the future.

2. Fails to Meet Goals and Objectives

Another indication an employee is not working as expected is a failure to meet established goals and objectives.

Each worker has specific responsibilities to ensure customers are satisfied and co-workers can perform their jobs without hassles or interruptions. To turn an underperforming employee around, provide additional training and incentives to improve performance.

Establish a protocol for handling continued failures so an employee understands the need to perform correctly to avoid disciplinary action or job loss. Keeping ahead of goals and objectives makes it easier to keep customers happy every step of the way.

3. Work is Completed Poorly

Management must establish criteria for each job to improve performance management. When work is done poorly, it hurts everyone. The customer is dissatisfied, leading to more work and expenses to keep customers happy. Employees who perform poorly consistently can tarnish the organization’s reputation.

Also, underperforming employees leave additional work for everyone else, slowing down production and delivery. The goal is to seamlessly produce and distribute the company’s offerings without delays or interruptions. Anything less could mean losing customers to the competition.

4 Essential Cues - How to Identify Underperforming Employees | identify underperforming employees 2

4. Consistently Misses Deadlines

Finally, another indication of underperformance is an employee who consistently misses deadlines. Companies establish deadlines to ensure customer satisfaction and enhance an organization’s overall profitability. Failure to meet the deadlines leads to customer dissatisfaction and makes the company look unreliable.

First, establish an easy-to-use system for employees to keep track of deadlines and ensure the work is delivered on time. Then, have a policy for workers who fail to deliver promptly. The employee will be penalized when deadlines are missed to avoid future delays.

Most employees strive to deliver their best each day. However, others might be facing challenges in life or business that cause delays in delivery. Effective management strategies include performance reviews to determine which employees need help meeting their goals, objectives, and deadlines.


We hope you have found these cues on how to identify underperforming employees helpful and that it will help you to decide what to do going forward.  Performance tracking tools help management stay ahead of the curve and avoid complaints from customers and colleagues. Each worker is empowered to deliver their best daily with regular evaluation and reviews. When it comes to business, teamwork and unity is essential for boosting productivity. When everyone works together seamlessly, customer satisfaction and corporate success are inevitable. As a result, the organization enjoys improved branding and ongoing profitability, which benefits everyone involved.

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