With restricted resources and rapidly growing wants in the open market system, the need to utilize the resources in the best possible way has been emphasized over the years. The desire of human beings to excel in their chosen area has pushed them to perform their jobs more efficiently and effectively. For everybody wants to catch up with the next higher strata of lifestyle, they have to do well whatever they are entitled to do. When it comes to business, performance plays a major role in this respect.
As defined by the Business Dictionary, performance is the accomplishment of a given task measured against the preset known standards of accuracy, completeness, cost and speed. In contrast, performance is deemed to be the fulfilment of an obligation, in a manner that releases the performer from all liabilities under the contract.
What is more important to be noted here is that the customers expect the employees of the particular organisation to be good performers in delivering goods and services in relation to the competitors in the industry. Once their work is not up to much, the customers tend to look away.
Under these circumstances, the trend has been that the business organisations never hesitate to hire good performers and, if need be, to fire poorly performed professionals, since highly motivated performers are needed to stanch the red ink and get the company back on its feet.
Hence, it can be observed that the employees’ poor performance is a huge blow to the company’s goodwill for which performance lays a solid foundation. As good performance paves the way for being well ahead of the other competitors in the industry, it remains imperative to get hold of how to alleviate poor performance to be more competitive. So, let’s have a closer look at it.
Poor performance is on the cards, whenever the employees are less motivated. It is once their aspirations are fulfilled that they are encouraged to work efficiently. It is better to be assumed that the employees want to be promoted, well-paid and good performers. Nonetheless, the reality is that something hidden has prevented the employees from being good performers. Hence, the first step to be taken in this respect for alleviating poor performance must be to differentiate poor performers from the rest of the employees.
Then, the causes for poor performance can be addressed with practical solutions upon which every employee can agree. It is up to the managers to explore some hidden skills which can, of course, be tapped into the potential of being a good performer who can turn others into good performers that are really considered to be an asset to a competitive business organisation.
Points to be pondered
It is considered that plenty of factors found out thus far have led to the poor performance in different ways. Getting an idea of those factors, before taking an action, is a must in the effort to boost the performance, so that the particular organisation will meet the consumers’ needs, as no other company does. Furthermore, the manager should be able to identify what is wrong with the employee considered to be underperforming.
The employees might lack the required knowledge and skills necessary for performing the job in the way that the manager expects from. When tasks are assigned sans any understanding about how capable and fitting the employee is to perform this job more efficiently, they are at a loss how to fulfil the task assigned to them. It will result in boredom which will spill over into other performance-related problems.
Human nature is that people are willing to be appreciated. Appreciation results in motivation and can take place in different ways in which money, opportunities and words of acknowledgement play a major role. It should be observed whether or not the employees performing at the expected level or perhaps, exceeding the expectations, are awarded and rewarded. Once the employees, although highly performed, are not commended, it cannot be avoided that their performance tends to be on the decrease. Moreover, it has to be said that motivation strengthened by appreciation will push the employees to work harder.
What should not be forgotten is that the employees that suffer personal problems show up poor performance. Researches indicate that happy employees are always efficient and productive. It ought to be penned down here that family life pleasure or displeasure has a significant impact on performance in the workplace. By and large, as almost every employee has his or her own crosses to bear, it can easily clash with work. Conflict between family life and work life will inevitably result in poor performance.
Poor performance like others is just like an iceberg, a larger part of which is hidden. Similarly, even if it has emerged as the poor performance, it might be the final outcome of a collection of factors which, of course, demotivate employees. Consequently, it can be said that lack of motivation is one of the major causes for poor performance.
Actions to be implemented
What is necessary to bear in mind is that common reasons for poor performance ought to be addressed with an approach which comes up with sustainable solutions. The first step in this regard should be to identify who the poor performers are and then, why. For all their willingness to be efficient and productive, the lack of required knowledge and skills might disturb their passion to be so.
Hence, the relevant employees must be distinguished and trained, so that they become capable of performing by exceeding the expectations. There might be employees who hesitate to seek help, due to the fact that they will be fired. A smooth approach to this kind of employees is immensely important, so that improved performance will not be impossible.
The organisational culture has to be a culture where people, irrespective of their positions, appreciate one another sans any hesitation. The manager that commends their subordinates communicates to the employees that they are valued members of the organisation. All the strategies set to promote the business must be attached with some personal privileges, which motivate the employees.
Some cases can be seen where the employees are demotivated by their colleagues who make the working environment really unpleasant. This must be tackled with immediate effect, as all the efforts made to increase performance might not pay off. Job rotation programmes, as appropriate, should be introduced in order that the employees are not fed up with their jobs.
Accordingly, poor performance cannot be taken lightly, as it has a probability to spill over into other HR issues, especially resulting in a loss-making business. That is why individually focused actions have to be taken to mitigate poor performance, making business more competitive. There is no argument that when there is a fully engaged labour force for a business organisation, they become competitive and well ahead of others spontaneously.
(Amila Muthukutti holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Colombo and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)