4 questions to ask when your employee doesn’t achieve expected results

There can be several reasons for failure. And sometimes it’s not the employees’ fault, but the manager’s. For example if a manager doesn’t explain the task properly, or makes assumptions and doesn’t communicate the task clearly, a team member would be ill equipped to perform to his or her maximum potential.

These 4 questions will help you to identify the problem and come up with an appropriate solution. Always start from No.1.


1. Do employees know what to do? Do they understand the task?

First, be sure, your employee understands the task. Did you give them the task according to SMART characteristics? – specific, measureable, attainable, realistic, timed. And did you check to make sure they understood what you wanted them to accomplish?

Do they know exactly what to do? Maybe they just don’t understand you properly. Or maybe they gave it a lower priority than you wanted it to have.


2. Do they know how to accomplish the task?

This is a typical case of training being needed. The employee knows what to do, but doesn’t have all the skills, knowledge or information how to do it. In this case, you have to teach him.

Yes, sometimes it’s not easy to identify where the problem is. Are the low results caused only by lack of skills, or is the position not suitable for the person?

I prefer to verify that the person knows “how” to complete a task, first.  I try to identify whether training or coaching in particular skills would help them.


3. Do they want to do the job?

If you identify that the employee knows what to do and how to do it but doesn’t have the motivation to do the job well, you know you cannot let them continue in the position. No training in the world will help, so don’t waste your money and energy. Sometimes you can find a better position for them in your company, one that suits them and they are motivated to do. But mostly, you have to say goodbye and let them find fulfillment somewhere else.


4. Are they capable of doing the job?

When you have someone who is very motivated, knows the job, and even knows how to do it, but in spite of this, the results don’t come, he probably isn’t capable of doing it. Yes, it is a pity. He fits into your team well, all the other team members like him and like cooperating with him. But you are paid for the results. You can be friends, but not at work. Unfortunately, you have to say goodbye to such a person. Don’t try training, another coach, even more training. It is waste of money. Act now! And find a new team member who will bring the results.


You may think I’m too harsh. But believe me, this is necessary. If you want to have a successful company and achieve your goals, you need the right people. I’m a “feeling” type of manager, meaning I don’t decide only according to logic and facts. Emotions and feelings are important to me. Saying goodbye to an employee has never been easy for me. That’s why I’ve always tried everything I could and given the person a chance. But when I’ve found that it hasn’t helped, I did it. And this is what I recommend to you. Try what you think may help. But if it doesn’t help, solve the problem; don’t waste time. You need to support the right people in your team. Invest your energy in them.

Author of "The Happy Manager: How to Make Your Team Happy and Increase Productivity" | Manager in Empire Know-How Institute| Interpreneur | World Traveller

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *