You’ll want to address the employee sooner rather than later, as putting performance issues off will only make matters worse over time, alienating or demotivating employees performing at a high level. When speaking with under performers, it’s essential you are open and direct about their performance, without coming across as angry or emotional. While studies show most employees want to hear corrective feedback that will help them succeed at their job, doing so in a non-constructive manner can cause them to get defensive and be unreceptive to your input. Don’t make it personal; rather, stick to the facts. An effective approach is to get their input. Ask them how they would assess their performance and what they think can be done to help them meet their responsibilities.
At the end of your meeting, you and the employee should agree on a solution to improve their performance. This may include additional training, a change in responsibilities, additional tools, or redirecting how they approach their tasks. Regardless of what the solution is, be sure to set clear objectives, offer any help or support available, and provide a time frame for improvement. Going forward, it is essential for you to recognize improved performance with positive reinforcement.