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Do You Have Poor-Performing Employees? Here’s How to Tell

When you own your own business, you have to make a lot of important and potentially life-altering decisions on a daily basis, such as who to hire and who to let go.

And, obviously, when it comes to these kinds of choices, you want to make the best and most equitable ones possible, as well as ones that make the most sense for your organization.

So, how can you accurately determine who stays and who goes? You can’t base this decision on friendship, likeability, or on anything else but overall employee value and productivity. And, thankfully, there are some surefire signs that you have poor-performing employees that need to be shown the door before they harm your business further.

Consistent Lateness

First things first, be on the lookout for chronic lateness in the people who work for you.

If you have someone who is regularly punching that time card late or who doesn’t show up to important meetings on time, this is a surefire sign of a bad employee. You can be sure that, if they’re skimping in terms of timeliness, they’re skimping in other areas too.

Monitor time carefully and demand punctuality. And, if an employee consistently does not deliver on this count, it’s probably time to let them fly.

Time Wasting

If you pay your employees an hourly wage, then you probably expect them to be working every hour that you pay them. However, if you put employee monitoring software to good use, you might find that this is not the case at all.

Many employers are shocked to find just how many “on the clock” hours their workers spend browsing social media or shopping (with your wages!) online.

Even if you never wanted to be the snooping kind of boss, implementing some kind of watchdog online program can let you know which employees are actually working and which ones are just living it up on your dime.


Sometimes, you might have an employee that you love—a person who always seems to be punctual, courteous, and put-together. But, regardless of your affection, if this person regularly gets complained about by other employees, you’ll want to take notice.

Sometimes, as the head honcho who is preoccupied with other things, you may be too busy to notice an employee who isn’t quite what they seem. However, if you’re willing to listen to other employees, especially those who have been with you for a while, you may hear a different side to the story—one that can help you to make smarter hiring and firing decisions.

A Lack of Drive

Good employees are people who want your business to thrive just as much as you do. They are people who see your employment as a long-term option and, thus, who have a vested interest in how your organization performs.

When a person genuinely cares for your business in this way, you’ll be able to tell. They’ll go the extra mile in terms of follow-up and the general level of service that they provide. A bad employee, on the other hand, merely sees you as an easy way to make a quick buck and will generally do just the bare minimum to keep from getting fired . . . which probably means it’s time for them to . . . well . . . get fired!


The only thing worse than an overall lack of drive in an employee is an overall negative attitude. If you have an employee who grumbles and complains about every task or who always thinks they know better, why are you wasting your time?

Cut them loose and find someone who is just as excited and enthusiastic about your business as you are!

Remember, when you pay people money to perform a service for you, you deserve the very best. And, just as you wouldn’t accept a bad dish at an expensive restaurant, don’t accept poor employee performance. Go the extra mile to sniff this problem out and nip it in the bud, and your business will thank you!