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Before you fire, try motivating your underachievers

If employees just aren't making the cut, it makes sense to give them the boot. But it's worth trying some other strategies first.

If employees just aren't making the cut, it makes sense to give them the boot. However, some workers just need a little motivation to unlock their full potential, which could help companies avoid turnover costs. Engagement efforts, such as employee reward and recognition programs, could be all it takes to turn underachievers into top performers.

Firms that regularly let workers go might be doing more damage than good to their team's morale. Most companies depend on the knowledge and talent of their workforce, requiring a specific skill set that often has to be developed over time. If new hires aren't quite hitting the quotas or achieving the level of quality the business demands, they might be able to push through to higher goals with clear incentives to strive for. The guidance of an expert mentor can help to bring out employee talent – Skin Inc recommended matching rookies to veterans to assist with onboarding.

Employees who start to slack off might be disengaged, which is why it's important for leaders to keep an eye on performance metrics and observe indications that workers are less enthused on the job, Business Management Daily advised. In addition, employee reward and recognition programs could be offered to rekindle flames of ambition.

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