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Why Employees Underperform and How You Can Motivate Them to Do Better

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Human resource is the most important asset for any business. The employees fulfil all the tasks needed to bring in revenue and pay for things like office space and machinery. Hardly a single company would succeed without employees. Behind every business success story is a team of employees who made it possible for the company to reach the next milestone through total dedication and commitment.

Why employees underperform

A company with an underperforming staff cannot hope to succeed until the management staff figures out a way to bring productivity back up to par. In this article, we will look at some of the common reasons why employees underperform and discuss some effective strategies you can use to motivate them.


Burnout brings down the ability of an employee to perform their duties competently by killing their enthusiasm for the job. An unmotivated employee is more likely to make a mistake that could cost your company. Interestingly, burnout tends to affect the most earnest and devoted of your employees. Because they give everything they’ve got to every task, dedicated employees get exhausted more both physically and mentally. Tackling burnout requires that you understand just how tiring a job can be as this allows you to make adjustments to protect your employees.

Challenges of remote working

Remote working has been growing in popularity as internet connectivity and remote working products like Slack and Zoom have grown more popular. And in these pandemic times, remote working is often the only safe choice for your company to remain operational. But what about the isolation and boredom that remote working brings? Studies show that some workers can become stressed when they are isolated from their coworkers and managers, leading to decreased levels of productivity.

Lack of recognition

When an employee only receives feedback on what they did wrong or what they could do better it may cause them to feel inept and unqualified. Constant negative feedback – even when it is motivational in nature – demoralizes. Words of encouragement and motivation from a supervisor or manager, on the other hand, go a long way in making employees more eagerly engaged at work.

Working for money 

The reason most people go to work is so that they can get paid and meet their material needs – but in many cases, money is never enough. And someone who works exclusively for the money will soon find him/herself burning out. As a business manager, you should be careful to hire people whose personal goals and ambitions rhyme with the company’s mission statement. People who work for the money will always exhibit lower levels of motivation towards work which will always lead to them underperforming.


All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and Jane a dull girl- so the saying goes. Although it is the prerogative of the employee to pace themselves, you should also keep an eye out for those going all out and neglecting their mental health. In most cases, these are your most valuable employees and losing them to burnout could inadvertently end up hurting your business.

How to Motivate Your Employees

Most business owners/managers simply don’t understand that their employees are not as motivated to take the company to the next as they are. Employees don’t get the benefit of ambition and entrepreneur’s spirit that power you every day. If you want to get the best out of them, you will have to go out of your way to motivate them. You can do this by;

Give them some incentive

Sometimes employees underperform because they have not been given any incentive to do better. You might think that the money you pay your employees to fulfill various responsibilities at your company is enough, but it is often not enough. Sometimes to get your employees working at their highest level of productivity requires incentives like gifts and awards – nonmonetary rewards that build your employees’ mental and emotional wellbeing.

Build trust

Sometimes your trust is the only vote of confidence an employee needs to attain the high levels of performance potential for which you hired him/her in the first place. Another way of building trust is increasing the level of non-work interaction between you and your employees. Workers who have a personal relationship with the boss tend to outperform their peers, especially when this relationship is mentor-mentee in nature.

Pay attention to each employee

This one can be hard to do when you have fifty or more employees, but it is rather quite easy when you are just starting out and you have a handful of people working for you. A personal relationship with the boss counts as a point of pride for most employees. If you make yourself accessible and listen to their needs, your workers will reward you with high productivity and dedication to their job.

Perform recognition rituals 

Recognition rituals are ceremonies that employees and employers engage in to boost workplace morale. They help build personal relationships, remove hierarchical barriers, encourage collaborations and, ultimately, increase the levels of productivity in the workplace.

GiftPesa eVouchers are best issued as part of a workplace gifting event where you can make a game of asking employees what they intend to do with their eVoucher. The answers they give you will surprise you. And if you pay attention, you can start to understand and appreciate your workers’ needs and personalities from their answers.

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