Diagnosing Poor Work Performance

There are many causes of poor employee performance. Improper diagnosis without the right tool wastes a lot of time and resources.

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Employee Performance Diagnostic Tool

One of the most difficult jobs for a manager is dealing with poor employee performance. For some managers, this is the most hated aspect of their job. However, wherever poor work performance is not properly diagnosed and confronted, the costs are great in lost productivity, rising customer complaints and lost profits.

The simple employee performance diagnostic tool below can assist managers in better uncovering the causes of poor performance and managing employee performance issues. The flow chart is best used to guide a structured discussion with the poorly performing employee during a face-to-face performance discussion.

You can use this chart to structure the following kinds of performance discussions:

  • formal performance appraisals
  • disciplinary interviews
  • counselling sessions
  • ad hoc feedback sessions

The steps in the flow chart cover the three basic causes of poor work performance:

  • the employee thinks they are already doing the task
  • the employee does not want to do the task
  • the employee can't do the task

Use the performance diagnostic chart as a guide only. It is not a replacement for manager training in performance management related skills, such as goal setting and giving and receiving feedback.

Figure 1 – Flow Chart For Diagnosing Employee Performance Problems

Employee Performance Flow Chart for diagnosing poor work performance

Avoiding or hurriedly diagnosing poor work performance problems adds a significant cost burden to businesses. Equipping managers and supervisors with the tools and skills required to accurately identify the real cause of an employee's substandard performance will pay dividends for your bottom line.

Expert View Author: AIMM MAITD

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