Managing Non Performers


Performance Management

Organizations today focus mostly on managing high performers, probably as a risk mitigation measure. After all, high-performers are considered as the drivers of business and their retention is a high priority for the organization. This blog, however, examines how to manage non-performers which may account for 10-20% of employee strength.


Who are non-performers ?

Are non-performers those who non-perfomers

  • » Do not meet their targets?
  • » Do not contribute to the team effort?
  • » Do not have the required skills & competencies?
  • » Do not get along well their supervisors?
  • » Take no action on the tasks assigned to them?
  • » Spend no time on self-development?
  • » Take no interest in the organizational activities?
  • » Have a poor attendance record?
  • » Are involved in disciplinary cases?
  • » Are not interested in training and mentoring others?
  • » Lodge maximum number of complaints and grievances?
  • » Have below average performance rating over the years?
  • » Have been repeatedly counseled to improve performance?
  • » Are generally disliked by peers & seniors?

Perhaps most of the above aspects need to be examined before labeling an employee a ‘non performer’. This is possible only if you have composite on-line HR systems.

A few thoughts!

It is also important to look at the following aspects of your selection parameter to understand non performance in the organization:

  • You have always picked the right person for the right job

  • Your recruitment process was fair and you always searched for the best available talent

  • From your recruitment records you can verify the ratings of non-performers in the psychometric tests and their evaluations by interviewers.

  • You kept the new entrants on probation for a sufficient time

  • You had a proper system for induction & on-boarding

  • Your process does not allow the entry of sub-par performers in your organization

If these are all correct, then who created non-performers?

Through my interactions with many organizations for over 40 years I have identified the following as some areas of that may be responsible for non performance:

  • Problems with supervisors (i.e. reporting manager)

  • Lack of transparent and employee friendly HR policies

  • Absence of processes to implement and audit these policies

  • Absence of an holistic approach to label employees as ‘non-performers’

  • Focus on recognition and development of high potential employees only.

We saw why some employees fall into the ‘non performers’ category and how at times the selection process of the organization can be responsible for non performance. While it is important to identify why certain employees are branded as non performers, it is also important to be aware of how to manage them in such a way that they perform better. Here are some ideas to consider:

  1. Treat them as spoiled children: Parents seldom discard their non-performing children. They identify their strengths and provide the desired environment to nurture the same.
  2. Screen them through Assessment Centers: Behavioral experts should be engaged to identify the attitudinal attributes which marked them as non-performers.
  3. Collect 360 degree feedback: Use a formal survey and gather impressions about the acceptability in the environment of those labeled as non-performers. Inputs from peers and subordinates will provide a valuable picture. Design the feedback instruments carefully.
  4. Train your managers: To develop subordinates is an important role of all managers and they mat be equipped adequately to perform this role.
  5. Assign alternative roles: Transfer the non-performer to a new role, preferably in consultation with the employee.
  6. Consider them as company assets:
    1. They provide a real challenge both to HR and the respective line / functional managers, keep them on their toes and make them search for creative solutions.
    2. They provide continuity in their jobs.
    3. They are not over ambitious and thus do not compete with others.
    4. They provide stability to the organization and can be well utilized for routine jobs.
    5. Their experience and knowledge of the organization is valuable even if their performance ranks lowest.
    6. During phases of recession and consequent downsizing of the organization, they are readily available as a solution.
  7. Part ways if you have to: If you have tried everything else, don’t hesitate in parting ways. All employees may not be right for your organization and hiring mistakes are made often.

Empxtrack Professional Edition offers a solution to ‘Managing Non-Performers?’.

Empxtrack is an integrated web-based solution that meets all requirements connected with Employee Performance Management, Web-based Recruitment & on-boarding, a comprehensive Employee Database, Self Services and a variety of analytics and dashboards for effective decision making.

TAGS: Employee Motivation, Employee Performance Evaluation, Employee Performance System, Performance appraisal sample, Performance appraisal system, Team motivation, Teamwork skills

32 thoughts on “Managing Non Performers”

  1. Managing performance is a classic problem among manager and organisation Goal, There is still allot of organisation which would like to take easy way out by facing out poor performer. The main issue is in term of job fit and job matching…….. At the point of hiring there need to be carefully mechanism of evaluation needed to be carried out to determine the suitability and ROI of hiring the candidate towards the company goal, mission and organisation Culture.

  2. Beneficial knowledge gratitude for expressing. The truth is in all articles and reviews of this site you will find things to learn.

  3. Human beings are complex and are not like computers. They have the potential to develop and change and can make a difference. Therefore, a non forming employee is not equivelant to zero talent.


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