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This is the first in a series of mini posts in which we deconstruct the answers to important L&D related questions. The aim is to produce a comprehensive guide for L&D practitioners who can then use these answers in their own training roles.

Today’s Question:

What are the reasons why an employee might not be able to carry out their job properly?

As an L&D professional you will more than likely come across this question on a daily basis, it is after all your role in your organisation to help the employees’ progress and develop into productive and resourceful individuals. When you are told that members of staff aren’t working properly then it is important to find out the reason and work towards a solution for this.

Lack of Knowledge and Skill

The employee has demonstrated that they are not fully equipped to carry out the job, they are in a position in which they are in over their heads and need extra support in developing their understanding of the role. They may have a general understanding of what they need to do, but their skills are not yet developed enough for the task in hand.

A good organisation will have the resources in place to help the employee develop their skills and become productive in the workplace. If this is the case for your organisation you can then implement a development plan to bridge the gap in their knowledge or skills.

Wrong mind-set or Disengaged

Find out why the employee is disengaged, do they not find the work interesting or are they disengaged because they find it challenging? Once you get to the bottom of why they are in the wrong state of mind, you can then work out an education strategy to help them overcome this.

Inefficient Incentive Schemes

The employee feels that they aren’t benefiting enough from their role within the organisation, it is important that the employee feels that that they are a valued part of the business. Understanding why the employee deserves more means that you can put a plan in place to develop their sense of value and help them work towards productivity rather than falling behind with their work.

Ask further questions

There is a chance that the employee’s lack of productivity is not a result of any of the above, in which case you should be prepared to probe for the reason, you may find that it is an easy fix there and then, or requires a strict training plan designed to increase productivity and output.

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