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"5 Tips for Giving Feedback to Underperforming Employees" with Rosa Ponce de Leon, Leadership Strategist

5 ways underperforming employees show up

Dealing with underperforming employees can feel like an energy drain, however, if you wait for annual or semi-annual performance reviews you’re setting yourself up for big losses in productivity, morale, and revenue.

Successful businesses are intentional about creating in the moment feedback to nip issues in the bud before they escalate. By sharing feedback between peers or cross-functional teams, employees often feel more engaged which can potentially trigger performance improvements.

If you need to incorporate some quick tips to provide in the moment feedback, you can start with these simple steps: 

  1. Be quick – the most effective feedback is right after an action takes place. This keeps the conversation relevant and the details fresh in everyone’s mind. This is true for both positive and negative feedback.

  2. Be specific – vague or generalized comments can lead to defensiveness. Provide constructive feedback in a direct and specific manner that includes pertinent information that support your claims. Provide time for responses if there are multiple points.

  3. Focus on Patterns – if there is a consistent behavior that shows up, highlight how it impacts underperforming results.  For example, taking long lunches and coming in late each day impacts their ability to meet deadlines

  4. Show support – give them reasons to see you want them to succeed. Keep in mind, people change for reasons that are important to them, not necessarily because their poor outcomes are impacting your bottom line.

  5. Stick to the point – stay on task by writing down your points. Speaking about too many infractions can muddy down your message. Keep your comments to the situation at hand. If there are additional items to discuss, schedule a separate meeting.


When we work together, we cover tactics to improve your communication skills and help your employees feel more accountable through authentic, kind communication.

Are you ready to start building a better culture? Schedule a free strategy call.

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