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It’s always concerning when your usually productive employees suddenly stop performing as well as they have in the past. It’s all too easy to run to your computer in a panic and begin Googling ways to boost employee performance. However, trying to implement a solution won’t do any good if you don’t know why your employees are underperforming in the first place.

Here at Nocti Business Solutions, our goal is to help your organization build a safer, more efficient workforce. One of the ways we do this is by giving you the tools to ensure that every employee has the skills and knowledge to succeed in the workplace.

Why Do Employees Underperform?

There are many reasons an employee may be underperforming. It may be because a particular worker is underqualified for the position, or perhaps they are working through a family crisis or health issues. That’s why picking a random strategy to boost performance may not work. To solve a problem, you must first understand it. Here are a few common reasons employee performance drops.


Some employees are qualified for their positions. Unfortunately, it is also fairly common for job applicants to stretch the truth on applications and resumes. One 2017 study found that 85% of employers caught employees lying on their resumes. A worker who doesn’t have the necessary skills or experience for the job won’t perform as well as a seasoned worker, and may even affect the rest of the team with their poor performance.

Unclear Goals and Accountabilities

Unclear goals and confusing accountabilities may also decrease employee performance. Things quickly become messy when workers aren’t sure of their priorities or where to report. Every worker should know where their priorities are and who they’re accountable to.

Unrealistic deadlines

Some employees underperform because they feel burdened by an unachievable deadline. To an already stressed employee, a tight deadline may be enough for them to stop trying. What’s the point of putting in so much effort if there’s little chance of success?


Micromanagement can often be as discouraging as an unrealistic deadline. Why bother to start a project or get things done when you know a manager will come along and correct all your work? Micromanagement also crushes initiative and discourages employee engagement. Not only that, but it can be tiring for the manager, too! Think of all the things they could be accomplishing if they weren’t busy keeping tabs on every single member of their team.

How to Boost Employee Performance

Now that we’ve discussed why some employees may be underperforming, let’s talk about what you can do about it.

Invest With Skills Assessments

Lessen the chances of a bad hire by using skills assessments. These tests can ensure that every hire has the skills and knowledge to succeed on the job. Since upskilling a current employee is often more cost effective than making a new hire, skills assessments are also useful when retraining. Test results can be used to track progress and to create a targeted training strategy. Your employee will be back on track in no time! Research has shown that organizations who use pre-employment tests are 24% more likely to have employees who exceed performance goals.

Check In With Performance Reviews

A performance review is the perfect time to address concerns with a worker’s productivity. This is an opportunity to have an honest discussion about the company’s expectations for the employee and to ask what they think of the organization as a whole. You may discover that the reason behind an employee’s drop in productivity is a personal or family concern. Perhaps you find that there is an unrealistic goal or confusing priorities. Asking the right questions during performance reviews may reveal pressure points before they become more serious issues.

Maintain Healthy Communication

Things move fast in today’s world, especially when it comes to evolving industries and technologies. Poor communication means you may be spending unnecessary time tracking down issues and resolving problems. Establishing efficient lines of communication will help eliminate confusion and allow everyone—from the CEO to the newest employee—to perform their tasks quickly and efficiently.

One aspect of establishing clear lines of communication is setting clear goals and accountabilities. Make sure every employee knows their priorities and knows who to go to with questions or issues. This will help eliminate confusion and save time.

Boost Employee Performance with NBS

A drop in employee performance should be cause for concern. However, the first step of boosting employee performance should always be to diagnose the issue as accurately as possible. This way, you can be sure to employ the most effective strategy.

We here at NBS want to help you build a safe, qualified, and competent workforce. Our skills assessments are a great way to screen potential hires, pinpoint training gaps, and increase overall employee performance. Contact us to learn more!