Bosses lose half a day managing poor performers

How do you manage bad employees?

Bosses lose half a day managing poor performers

Almost all (96%) Singapore bosses report facing the challenge of poorly performing employees. This can impact a company’s productivity levels, staff morale and even reputation.

According to recent research, leaders spend more than half a day every week (14% of their time) coaching and supervising poorly performing employees.

In order to help poorly performing employees meet expectations, the majority (58%) of employers use coaching or mentoring strategies.

Half (50%) of employers would transfer an underperforming employee to another role and 47% would offer further training.

Termination, however, is a last resort for most. Sacking staff is the least popular response (22%) for employers, according to Robert Half’s study. This, due to employers’ focus on staff retention, considering the current skills-short market.

“While the idea of letting an employee go might be what first comes to mind, Singaporean business leaders understand the high costs of vacant roles and repeating hiring processes,” said Matthieu Imbert-Bouchard, managing director at Robert Half Singapore.

“Offering additional support, spending more time on the onboarding process or assigning alternative roles are usually more viable options that are considered first.“

The MD suggested five tips on how to manage underperformers:

  • Address the problem immediately

Approach the employee straight away to tactfully discuss areas of underperformance. Remember to also find out whether the staffer is facing any challenges at and outside of work. Suggest a corrective course of action that best addresses the issue at hand.

READ MORE: Poor performance or mental illness?

  • Set goals

Review core competencies to find out where they’re falling short. Then, work with the employee to develop a work-improvement plan which sets out interim goals and timeframes. Offer additional tools and resources required that can help them improve.

  • Provide feedback

Set aside time for regular check-ins to assess the progress of the performance plan. Use these meetings to discuss what the employee is doing well and what they still need to improve on, as well as re-evaluate and adjust the support required.

  • Reward improvement

To keep your employee on track, acknowledge their achievements and progress as they carry out their performance plan. Incentivising the employee will be key to maintaining momentum and their drive to continually improve.

  • Know when to let go

Ongoing underperformance will continue to be costly, so if employees show no sign of improvement, it’s crucial to know when the time is right to finally part ways. Having a documented improvement plan with measurable goals will help you recognise when to make this call.

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