5 Key Ways Poor Performing Employees Affect Your Business – Startup Mindset

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If you ask a business owner what they are looking for in an employee, their answer will be “someone who goes above and beyond what is expected.” You will never hear a business owner say that they are looking for an employee who performs poorly. However, at some point or another, every entrepreneur, business owner and manager will need to address an underperforming employee.

It’s tempting to let the employee slip away with all the other things you have to take care of in your business. Especially, if their work is not a hindrance to your business. However, the reality is that employee performance does some major damage to your business in the long run.

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Poorly performing employees will hurt every aspect of your business operations. You must be vigilant and do your part to keep your team engaged, even though some employees may still fall through the cracks. In this article, we’ll look at 5 key ways underperforming employees affect your business.

5 ways poor performing employees will affect your business:

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Decreased productivity Decreased sales opportunities Can hurt customer satisfaction Can lower team morale Can hurt your brand1. low productivity

In a flourishing business environment, productive employees will produce the output their company needs. Most settings want employees to try to achieve more than they need. This shows that the employee is engaged in the interests of the business. Poor performing employees are those individuals who are not meeting the specific outputs required. These employees will leave work incomplete or submit late. Furthermore, they are usually not depended on to fulfill a particular capacity of work. Low productivity is one of the top barriers to overcome when addressing business issues.

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Employees who can’t pull their weight affect the morale of the entire team. Not only this, they also destroy the growth of the company. If the work remains incomplete or the deadline is missed, the company will suffer losses and financial growth will be hurt. The reduction in per capita productivity on a large scale also affects the country’s GDP and economic growth. If you’re experiencing low productivity, this will start a chain reaction of many other failures.

2. Loss of sales opportunities

When employees are not engaged, they do minimal work. This means that they do not look for new sales opportunities, or go above and beyond when dealing with customers. This no-nonsense approach to business will no doubt increase your company’s sales.

It is essential as an employer to help foster these positive attitudes and ensure that the rewards are worth the time it takes to make and achieve sales. When it’s all said and done, employees who underperform and sit in the background will be causing your business to lose revenue.

Poor performing employees are kings of not taking advantage of opportunity. Conversely, your successful employees will learn and seek sales opportunities. His positive outlook at the workplace will result in earning money.

3. Hurts Customer Satisfaction

The customer is always right, a saying that has bugged us for decades. Shocked or not, this is the truth. Customer loyalty and satisfaction is the core of a brand. Faltering employees will hurt the productivity of businesses, and that, in turn, will hurt customers. This can be manifested in customers receiving deliverables late or in low quality. All business operations ultimately affect the customer.

And on the other hand, a poor performing employee who is not invested in the growth of the company may refuse to go the extra mile for the customer. It will also dramatically affect the customer’s view of the business. If you notice that your customer satisfaction rates are low, one option is to conduct a survey or test with your employees to determine how they handle customer situations. One can use video or audio recordings to perform quality control of customer interactions.

4. Lower Team Morale

As mentioned above, a loss in productivity can also affect team morale. When one team member isn’t pulling their weight, other team members need to do their share of the work. While this may occasionally be necessary due to absences, vacations or other situations, it should not be the norm. Members of your team who are doing their jobs well can become frustrated by having to do more work than they can handle. They may even be angry with you for not taking appropriate action to rectify the situation.

Another way a poorly performing employee can lower morale is through a negative attitude. Employees who do not share a vision with their employer and appear disinterested will take this energy out on their co-workers. It’s terrible if just one employee is performing poorly, let alone the entire team.

If the laziness-culture is not condemned, the results will show it. Instead, it’s wise to create strict deadlines and enforce them. Holding a realistic but specific standard is an excellent way to keep employees engaged and striving to reach goals. You want your employees to feel excited about the company’s journey. No mopping around and maybe get your paperwork done by 5.

5. Damage to your brand

A brand image takes years to build and can be destroyed in a matter of days. It is the most valuable asset a business has, yet just as fragile. It is in your best interest to protect that image. To build trust, consumers will need interactions with your brand to be positive and satisfying. For example, in 2005, Chipotle rose to fame with its build-your-own quick-service Mexican American-style food. His brand suffered a fatal blow in 2015 when outbreaks of E-coli and norovirus occurred at several restaurants. Some headlines changed Chipotle’s image forever. Several factors contributed to Chipotle’s issues; Could the underperforming employee be one of them?

Chipotle believes the meat they received was contaminated and said the food was improperly handled by employees, which led to the spread of the contagion. Fewer people could have gotten sick if staff handled the meat according to protocol and used proper sanitation guidelines. More proof that underperforming employees will affect the liveliness of every aspect of the business, especially your brand.

What to do when an employee is performing poorly

Underperforming employees is an issue that needs to be taken seriously by all leaders. So, what can be done to help the underperforming employee? First, it’s important to remember that every employee has the potential to improve. Their improvement will inevitably contribute to the success of the company. It is important to take action as soon as possible so that you can keep your business going strong.

You then want to meet with the employee to discuss their performance. Present to them what you see. But, you also want to be open to hearing their feedback. The reason for their poor performance may be something that has little to do with the job. Be sensitive to what they’re going through to help them feel heard.

From there, you may want to create a plan of action. This may include:

Identify specific areas of performance that need improvement. Develop specific, measurable and achievable goals for the employee to work towards. Set up regular check-ins and follow-ups.

During this process, do what you can to motivate your underperforming employee. This will ensure that they can continue to improve without losing momentum. For more information on some strategies that can help, see our article on what to do when an employee is underperforming.


There are many ways to handle employees who are struggling with their work. In the case of Chipotle, not only can the employees be blamed, but the management must also be held accountable. Management should take notice and hold their employees to a specific standard. Employees who do not meet your criteria should be reevaluated, trained or reprimanded to improve job performance. In the worst case, it may be time to let them go.

Alicia Ronto

Team Writer: Alicia Ronto is a 30-year-old self-employed security coordinator and part-time freelance writer. In October 2022, she received her bachelor’s degree in business administration. Alicia is also mom to a rambunctious 3-year-old and spends any extra time she has cleaning, reading, going to the gym, or going on short weekend trips. Her goal is to someday be freelancing full time.

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