What Indicators Help in Identifying Low Performers on Your Team?

by Oct 27, 2023

Every successful team depends on its members to contribute effectively and work together cohesively. As a manager or team leader, it is important to make sure that your team is working effectively and efficiently. Every team should have people who do their job that lives up to the company’s standards of quality work. However, no team is perfect. There are some instances where team members may be underperforming for whatever reason. Identifying low performers is an essential task for any team leader or manager.

How to spot underperforming team members? Let us discuss these five indicators.


Consistency Concerns

Low performers often show inconsistencies in their work. This means they might excel one day and fall short the next. Keep an eye on team members who frequently miss deadlines, deliver quality work, or prove to be unreliable in their tasks. Inconsistent performance is a sign of underperformance.

Engagement Levels

Engaged team members tend to be more productive and motivated. Keep an eye out for signs of them not being excited or interested in their work. Everyone has off days but if it happens more often than not, it’s important to address this issue with them and hear their side in order to provide suitable help. Engaged employees actively contribute to the team’s success, so disengagement can be a red flag.


Good communication is vital in any workplace. Under performers team members may struggle to communicate effectively, like not responding to messages or giving unclear instructions. Lack of good communicate is not good for the team and it can affect the work chemistry in a negative way.

Goal Struggles

The ability to set and achieve goals is a fundamental aspect of any job. Low-performing team members often struggle to meet their targets or lack the motivation to work toward them. If you consistently observe a lack of progress towards set goals, it’s time to investigate further.

Negative Attitude

Negativity within a team can be contagious and detrimental to overall performance. Team members who consistently display a negative attitude may be affecting the team’s morale and collaboration. A negative outlook can hinder the team’s ability to work together effectively.
Recognizing these five indicators can help you identify low performers on your team and take necessary steps to address the issue. Early intervention is crucial for supporting struggling team members and preventing potential issues from affecting team productivity and overall success. By offering guidance, constructive feedback, and opportunities for improvement, you can help low performers get back on track and contribute positively to the team’s efforts.
In this episode of “Catherine’s Corner,” we’re diving into a very important topic: “How Our Feelings Affect How We Work in the Modern World.” Catherine is having an interesting chat with Petra Velzeboer, who knows a lot about this stuff. They’re talking about how our feelings, or mental health, can make a big difference in how we do our jobs, especially in today’s changing work world. This episode helps us understand how our feelings can help or hurt our success at work. 

Civility is the platform for organizational success—it is absolutely necessary for an organization to reach its goals. Download our Ebook on Seeking Civility to learn more on how to create a workplace free of bullying and abusive conduct.


About Catherine Mattice

Catherine Mattice, MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is President of consulting and training firm, Civility Partners, and has been successfully providing programs in workplace bullying and building positive workplaces since 2007. Her clients include Fortune 500’s, the military, several universities and hospitals, government agencies, small businesses and nonprofits. She has published in a variety of trade magazines and has appeared several times on NPR, FOX, NBC, and ABC as an expert, as well as in USA Today, Inc Magazine, Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, and more. Catherine is Past-President of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), San Diego Chapter and teaches at National University. In his book foreword, Ken Blanchard called her book, BACK OFF! Your Kick-Ass Guide to Ending Bullying at Work, “the most comprehensive and valuable handbook on the topic.” She recently released a second book entitled, SEEKING CIVILITY: How Leaders, Managers and HR Can Create a Workplace Free of Bullying.

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