Almost half of employers (46%) believe financial pressures are one of the main external factors affecting employee underperformance.
The survey conducted by employment law and HR consultancy firm, WorkNest, has also revealed that homeworking (17%), childcare responsibilities (14%), and time management (13%) were also cited as key factors affecting employee performance.
The survey also found that mental health and work-related stress were significant internal drivers of underperformance, with almost a third of employers (30%) identifying it as a cause for concern. In addition, ineffective leadership (28%), poor conduct (20%), and lack of formal training (15%) were uncovered as additional factors affecting employee performance.
“Employers must recognise that financial pressures due to the rising cost of living are now a major factor in employee underperformance,” said Danielle Scott, Employment Law Adviser and Solicitor at WorkNest.
Supporting employees through cancer
For many people, working through cancer and its treatment is important – both financially and to give them a sense of stability and normality.
In fact, 87% of people diagnosed say it’s important to continue working. With the right support, this is possible for many patients.
Our comprehensive guide equips you with the tools to not only understand but also address the unique challenges that employees with cancer can face.
You will learn:
How cancer can impact someone at work and what you can do to help
Improve understanding of reasonable adjustments for cancer patients
How to have sensitive conversations about cancer
Five ways you can improve cancer support in your workplace
Ways to reduce risk of cancer discrimination
“By prioritising open communication and building relationships with their employees, employers can identify and address the real issues that impact their team’s performance, ultimately improving productivity and reducing the risk of grievances and absenteeism.”
Where challenges exist, employers also expressed concern about their line managers’ ability to handle conversations about underperformance, with 27% reporting they had provided inadequate training. If mishandled, the impact can be significant, with 25% of employers finding that grievances crop up out of the blue or see an increase in sickness absence.
Scott added: “With over a quarter of line managers struggling to handle conversations about underperformance, employers must take action by providing them with training and guidance on how to address these situations.
"Conversations can be awkward if they don’t know how to approach them. By having regular reviews with an employee on performance management, line managers can increase employee engagement and motivation as well as provide clarity on individual and team objectives. Line managers also have an opportunity to identify training gaps and development opportunities through regular conversations for those team members that might require extra support.”