How eLearning Can Help Deal with
the Poor Performance of Employees

See also: Online Education and Learning

An organization consists of various employees, some of whom may be top performers, while some may even struggle to get through their online training assessments. Even then, some employees have a lot of knowledge yet fail to deliver it correctly. As the head of the organization, you certainly never want your employees to underperform. After all, the performance of employees invariably affects the overall performance and success of an organization.

Workplace underperformance occurs when the employees perform or work below their potential. This means they are unable to work as per the expectations or requirements of the organization. There can be various reasons for the poor performance of employees. Some of them are listed down below:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Lack of capability
  • Lack of appreciation and acknowledgment
  • Poor reward system
  • Lack of social interaction with colleagues
  • Heavy workload
  • Inadequate resources for learning

These reasons can affect both the quality as well as quantity of work. Hence, dealing with the poor performance of employees requires digging down an extra bit to find out the root cause of the problem.

Diagnosis of the problem needs to be emphasized to find out the accurate reason for underperformance. For instance, if an employee performs poorly in online training assessments, then you might assume that he or she are a bit lethargic and not interested in training. However, such an incorrect diagnosis can be misleading and problematic. Maybe, the employee is feeling very underconfident or unmotivated, and is unable to perform well as a result of this.

Thus, you have to voluntarily take the initiative and go one step further to diagnose the poor performance of employees.

Here are some ways which can help you deal with the poor performance of employees.

1. Resupply the eLearning content.

You must focus on the eLearning resources already available for training. Check whether the existing training materials are sufficient to improve the capabilities and competencies of the employees.

Ask them if they need some extra resources. Don’t you think it's better to ask employees what kind of training and resources they want? By taking their opinions and suggestions into consideration you can make them feel valued and so more likely to succeed. Seeing so much coming from your end, they are unlikely to leave you.

2. Retrain to upskill them.

Due to frequent industrial restructuring and ICT development, some skills of employees are becoming obsolete. This is the reason why many industries have started to participate in the ongoing “Skills Revolution” where industries, companies and organizations are upskilling their workforce to adapt to recent changes.

If you have identified a skill gap, you must retrain employees. Closing the skills gap is vital to getting the best out of employees. When you decide to retrain, make sure you use the best technology and aids to make training more fun and exciting for employees.

For instance, you can provide VR headsets to employees for sales training, or you can integrate VR technology with the existing onboarding systems to provide the best onboarding experience. This will not just enhance your training program but will make employees more excited about their training.

3. Refit your employees.

Sometimes, it's good to reconsider refitting the job of employees. Maybe, the mismatch between an employee and their job role is the reason for their poor performance. In this case, you can do a quick reshuffle to ensure the employees fit completely within their job role. Refitting employees can add great value to your business because employees perform better when they’re placed in the right job role.

You can bring in the help of career counselors who can aid employees to tackle career-related problems. Career counselors can help employees with performance improvement, dealing with assessments, career-pathing, and career transition.

4. Set performance goals.

Encourage employees to set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals for themselves. Setting goals can help them plan their eLearning journey as well as their career.

If employees are unable to set out goals on their own, then assign them mentors who can assist them. Make sure that the personal goals of employees are in sync with the organizational goals. For example, if the product designing team plans to learn new skills, then you need to ensure that they make the best use of their skills to create products that can help you boost your sales.

5. Assess your employees.

If providing online training is important, so is assessing your employees. Assess your employees through online training assessments and keep a check on whether they can achieve their goals in a time-bound manner.

Follow a learner-centric approach and use a variety of assessment tools. For instance, you can use various types of questions in quizzes like true or false, fill in the blanks, etc. Create free response questions and ask learners to suggest some good ideas that can help increase the quality of eLearning courses.

6. Reward employees.

Employees love it when you recognize their hard work and appreciate them. Rewarding employees can boost their morale and give them a little push to perform better. It helps in retaining the key talent in your organization and creates healthy competition.

An LMS equipped with gamification features can do wonders for you. You can reward employees by giving them virtual coins, badges, flashcards, etc. Sometimes, gift cards or a lunch voucher can also be of great value.

7. Provide quick feedback.

You must provide quick feedback to employees so that they can understand where they stand and what still needs to be improved. The feedback needs to be timely so that employees remain updated.

The feedback should be accurate, open, and honest. Be straightforward and provide constructive criticism. Don't use words that may pull down their confidence. Talk more about the performance rather than the employees themselves. Most importantly, the feedback should be unbiased.

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide for Students

The Skills You Need Guide for Students

Skills You Need

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Our eBooks are ideal for students at all stages of education, school, college and university. They are full of easy-to-follow practical information that will help you to learn more effectively and get better grades.


Poor performance of employees can hinder the growth and development of employees as well as your organization. No doubt, dealing with underperformers can be challenging but it is also essential for the growth and development of your business. Hence, you need to identify and then address the root cause of the problems effectively.

About the Author

Costa Lamprou is the head of PPC at The Elearning Industry Network. With experience from everything ranging from product development and sales to training and PPC, Costa helps eLearning businesses reach their full lead gen potential. When he isn’t helping clients succeed, Costa likes to expand his marketing horizons with the help of eLearning courses.