Fresh performance insights straight to your inbox!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Low Performer, Bad Hire and Workplace Failures: What’s the Difference?

By John Fanguy Performance Management

Share this post:

Managing employee performance is a job that no matter how many checks and balances, KPIs or other accountability measures there are, intuition, problem-solving, and careful judgment are needed too. This is especially true when managers struggle to tell the difference between an employee that can’t get the job done or won’t get the job done. Distinguishing a low performer from a bad employee is the first step in taking corrective measures for this kind of tricky situation.

How to Identify a Bad Hire

So, you’re at the point where you’re not sure if the decline in performance your employee has been showcasing is valid and temporary or if this is simply how they work and it just took you a minute to realize it. However subjective one might think this is, there are patterns in behavior that help identify a bad hire. Managers have the job of being able to tell the difference between a behavior that is permanent and one that can be adapted. Taking into account these common behaviors of toxic employees can help set bad hires apart from low performers and might save you a lot more trouble down the road:

frequent employee whitepaper mockupOverconfident employees often overestimate their abilities which means there is a serious lack of self-awareness contributing to their performance. They don’t know really understand their own strengths and weaknesses which will always create problems in their work. Overconfident employees are also 43% more likely to engage in unethical behavior so watch out!

Employees that constantly complain, engage in gossip, and tend to be involved in company politics are just bad all around. These kinds of employees need an attitude adjustment and let’s face it, that’s probably never going to happen. Their disdain for their work can also cause the entire team’s performance to drop by 30 to 40%!

'Complainers' disdain for their work can also cause the entire team’s performance to drop by 30 to 40%! Click To Tweet

Competitive employees aren’t all necessarily a cause for concern, especially if their competitive nature leads to high performance. However, if an employee is overly competitive, they might be too stubborn to change how they get things done. After all, it’s worked for them so far. Incapability of change is never good and should be addressed as soon as possible. Need to motivate a competitor? Easy. Create a competition. Just beware of your less competitive employees.

Employees that everyone else complains about are usually a red flag. This goes beyond just not liking someone. When the rest of your staff, who is made up of some of your best and brightest workers, are complaining about someone, it’s probably because that person isn’t pulling their weight, makes constant mistakes or is taking credit for work they didn’t do. Not every bad hire will fit into these specific categories, but with some common sense and intuition, managers can judge for themselves whether or not a dip in performance is temporary or permanent.

How to Diagnose a Low Performer

You’ve determined that your employee is not a bad hire, but you’re not sure why this person you thought was perfectly capable of doing the job is suddenly missing the mark. Every person has specific needs and motivators managers should take into consideration, but these are some common reasons for a decline in performance:

  • The expectations of the project were not clearly defined for the employee
  • The employee doesn’t have the right skills
  • The employee lacks all the necessary resources to complete the project
  • The employee lacks the motivation
  • The employee is being depended on too much and is burned out

Managers should take into account that low performance can be due to many reasons, most of which are perfectly avoidable or capable of correcting. It’s their job to pinpoint the problem and start rectifying the situation. The first step they should take is improving communication and feedback!

How to Make This a Lot Easier Next Time

With all the sophisticated technology that exists today, there should be a magical computer that could predict exactly who the best employees are until the end of time. It’s not quite that easy, but we humans are getting there. The issue of not being able to distinguish a low performer from a bad hire can be easily avoided through effective communication and performance benchmarking. It’s not rocket science, it’s human interaction. iRevü is here to save you.

Did you know 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures?Our real-time micro feedback platform connects managers with their employees daily with easy-to-use, cloud-based solutions. This frequent communication and feedback can safeguard against instances like those mentioned above and then some. With iRevü, managers can send feedback to employees in real-time which allows employees to take corrective steps right away. Customizable reminders keep managers on track with each individual employee and integrated rewards keep employees engaged in their performance. Running out of reasons why you shouldn’t have iRevü? The fact that it costs less than $10 per employee should fix that right up!

86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. Click To Tweet

Telling the difference between a bad hire and bad performance can be tricky, but is well worth investigating. Managers need to be able to set the employees who can’t currently do the job apart from the employees who won’t because bad hires aren’t just low performers, they’re catalysts for bad performance and low morale. Need help with your current performance management process? Let iRevü help!

john fanguy

Posted By John Fanguy

Subscribe to the Blog for Weekly Updates:
Free Trial

(920) 349-7388

Performance Reviews in 5 Minutes or Less

See how Microfeedback Works

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.