There are many reasons why an employee may perform below expectations. Some of the common reasons include:

  • an employee doesn't know what is expected because goals and/or standards or workplace policies and consequences are not clear (or have not been set)
  • there is a mismatch between an employee's capabilities and the job, or they don’t have the knowledge or skills to do the job (recruitment, training or workplace change problem)
  • the employee doesn’t have the tools, clear guidance, delegated authority or permission needed to go ahead (which is a management problem)
  • an employee doesn’t know whether they are doing a good job because there is no, or insufficient constructive, feedback on their performance
  • lack of personal motivation, low morale in the workplace and/or poor work environment, interpersonal differences
  • personal issues such as family or financial stress, physical and/or mental health problems, or problems with drugs or alcohol
  • cultural misunderstandings
  • workplace bullying, discrimination or harassment.