Why an Employee’s Poor Performance May Not Be Their Fault

Lack of Training or Tools

Potential is important; new hires need to have the ability to succeed on the job. That being said, potential must be unlocked, and this requires proper training. Even the most capable, intelligent employee will work inefficiently, make more mistakes, and generally underperform if they don’t receive adequate training. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that workers have all the tools they need to perform their job responsibilities. Depending on the particular job, this might include access to software applications and other technologies, proper safety gear, or even just enough physical space to get work done.

stress worker

Lack of Purpose

To an increasing degree, employees today don’t just want jobs — they want their work to provide a sense of purpose and meaning. They are motivated to perform their best when they know their work has real value.

Lack of Role Clarity

It’s crucial that employees understand their role on a team. This means letting them know what their job duties are, but also what they aren’t responsible for. Managers should ensure new hires understand how their role relates to others on their team, and more broadly, how their work contributes to the organization’s success. Additionally, it’s important to make sure employees know they will have opportunities to grow at the company. It’s not uncommon for workers to become disengaged when they get the impression they’ll never have a chance to move beyond their current role. During hiring and onboarding, it’s a good idea to ensure a new hire’s manager sets aside time to explain the significance of the position.

Lack of Priorities

It’s not always a bad idea for managers to assign employees more tasks than average. Giving an employee more responsibilities can signal to the employee that the manager thinks they are capable enough to move beyond their current role. It could also make the employee’s work more interesting and mentally stimulating.

The Takeaway

Most importantly, always remember that poor employee performance can be the result of organizational factors, not merely the fault of the person in question. Especially among new hires, poor performance can signal a lack of training, role clarity, or purpose, as well as other problems that management should address.



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Jason Hanold

Jason Hanold


Executive Recruiter, clients NFL, Google, Patagonia, Under Armour, Gucci, Nike, Northwestern, eBay, UFC, Vail, REI, Electronic Arts, Live Nation, #HR #Recruiter