[tweetmeme source=”LessonsInBiz” only_single=false] There are a lot of reasons why your employees can be underperforming. And you might think that the last thing you need is an employee who doesn’t work at par with your standards that you might recourse to firing them because it’s having a negative impact on small business productivity. Well, think again and do not jump to that decision instantly. There may be other ways to work around with this problem.

One possible reason why this happens is lack of motivation. Not all your employees are the same, they don’t all have one-track minds. Actually, it is better to have an employee who struggles with productivity than an employee who has behavioral problems. Why? For the simple reason that the former can get better with training and support from managers. Of course there should be a learning curve, especially for new employees and you have to give them that allowance. You might be surprised, there could be a lot of untapped potential from that employee of yours.

Here are 6 ways you could make a star performer out of any employee:

  1. Get the facts straight. Gather all performance reviews and talk to your employee about it. Have a little one-on-one chat so that you would know what the reason behind his poor performance is. Use constructive criticism so that your employee would not feel unmotivated.
  2. Ask the employee to make an action plan. After telling him which areas needs to be improved on, get him to write what his proposed solution is and how he would be able to arrive at it.
  3. Do not set too high a goal for your employee. Start small and work your way to how he can be a top performer. Give goals in smaller increments so that he would not feel too overwhelmed.
  4. Offer help and support. Since you know the ropes in the area which he having the most difficulty with, give assurance that you will help him. Make an action plan for what you are going to do to assist or train him for. This ensures both of you that you are working towards the same goal: for him to do better.
  5. Schedule another meeting to check on the progress of your employee and make sure that the action plan you both made are being followed through.
  6. Give incentives. Now, this does not mean that you’re only giving him the incentive but for all employees as well. Give them a challenge, a room for friendly competition so that it would drive them to do and be better.