Poor performance at Work is one of the reasons why a country or an organization may go down within a few years of establishing itself. Staff performance management is an indispensable skill in running a company, but dealing with poor performance goes beyond rolling out precepts and some endless lists of work ethics.

Hence, it is one thing to understand the reasons for poor performance at work, and another thing to know how to deal with poor performance at work.

This article centers on the reasons for bad performances at work, and we are going to be looking at the subject matter from the perspective of Employee Performance Management.

List of the Reasons for Poor Performance at Work:

  1. Boredoms
  2. Hatred for the Boss
  3. Outdated Skills
  4. Unrealistic expectations
  5. Health Challenges
  6. Attitudinal Dispositions

Brief Note on the Reasons for Poor Performance at Work:


If your work is the boring type, without any form of stimulants, playing at work becomes next available task to be completed.

The consequence is that you begin to lose interest and enthusiasm in completing tasks and what’s next? Poor performance sets in.

Studies show that impoverished performance at work is associated with boredom which manifests in the forms of absenteeism, sleepiness, error-stress, increased risk taking and thrill seeking damage to property, and even cardiovascular problems.

There is a saying, ‘Find something you love doing and you will never have to work a day in your life’. Harvey MacKay.

In line with Harvey’s quote, for the sake of managing poor performance, ‘Employ those who love your work and you never have to bother yourself a day about poor performance at work’.


Open and honest communication is the cornerstone of a good work relationship, where communication flow is flawed or hampered work relations goes sour, which is capable of giving rise to a lack of motivation and time wasting at work.

Most times employees leave their jobs more because of communication problems with their boss than some other issues that are thought to be the actual reasons.

Misunderstanding germinates where incommunicado thrives. Most times, a hated boss is not personally bad, but bad at communication.

An effective poor performance management could just be a simple step to improve communication experience between the manager and the staff, that would go a long way in staff performance management.

The fact is, you will hardly do well in that which was given to you by a person you hate.

3. Outdated Skills

I don’t know whether I should have subtitled this, ‘Irrelevant Skills’, either way, theses are how best I can explain the main idea of this subhead. It is not the same as ‘Lack of Skills’. According to Dr. Ann Bugeja from, outdated skills is one of the main reasons that holds candidates from landing a new job or a promotion.

Here, you are very skilled but either that your skills do not represent present knowledge and training in your field, or that you have skills which are of the latest brand of knowledge and training but it is not required in your present job. This point doesn’t need any further illustration.

This is one of the reasons for ineficciency at work. So, update your knowledge and skills relevant to your work.

4. Unrealistic Expectations

Unrealistic expectations result from an absent or defective poor performance management system. This may be the fault of the managers or that of the company system at large.

Poor performance as a result of unrealistic expectations occurs when the manager often sets high goals for the employees, which are not well defined, hence, the poor quality of the work done and inability to deliver on time.

5. Health Challenges

The relationship between a person’s state of health and the person’s state of mind and consequently, that person’s performance at work cannot be overemphasized.

Impoverished performance at work can be caused by bad health condition. Your health affects your mental state, and as a result, your absence from work affects your performance at work.

6. Attitudinal Disposition

Finally, how you perceive your work matters a lot. Bad performance at work can result from the negative perception of the work you are doing.

A task might be difficult to execute but if you view it in a lighter mood, you might find the relieve and strength for better performance.

There is a saying, ‘work is either fun or drudgery. It depends on your attitude.’ Collen C. Barrett.

In conclusion, poor performance at work has been a killjoy for many corporate entities. The best way to dealing with it is to first understand the causes of poor performance at work. Understanding this will further help you either as an employee or a manager, to improve your performance at work.