A-Z Popular Blog Performance Issue Search »
Performance Issue
Low Performance

Communication Performance

On-Time Performance

Performance Appraisals

18 Examples of Low Performance

Low performance is when an employee's work is less than satisfactory. This is less severe than poor performance or serious issues such as insubordination or unethical behavior. As such, it is common for an employer to be patient with low performers such that they are given a chance to improve. The following are illustrative examples of low performance.

Low Throughput

An employee who simply doesn't get much done. This includes employees who avoid projects and action items and those who take on work they find difficult to complete in a timely manner.

Busy Worker

Employees who work hard on things that have very low value such as creating documents that aren't valuable to their organization. This occurs where an employee easily takes low value action items. It also occurs where employees pursue their own mission that is disconnected from the rest of their firm.


Employees who view work as a political competition as opposed to an exercise in value creation. For example, a manager who spends much of their time trying to derail projects sponsored by their political competition.

Talent Shortfall

Employees who simply lack talent in their role. For example, a salesperson who isn't good with customers such that they find it difficult to close. If these employees are highly engaged, they will benefit from support and training such as a talented mentor.


Employees who are disengaged such that they are fundamentally disinterested in their work. These employees are often disengaged for their own reasons such that it is essentially a myth that they can be "motivated" by leadership. In some cases, disengaged employees suddenly become high performers -- often because priorities shift in their life.


An employee who is too isolated, disconnected or uncooperative given the requirements of their role. For example, a salesperson who doesn't maintain customer relationships.


Mediocrity is when an individual clings to a group but minimizes their contributions to that group. As employees, the mediocre will do the minimum required not to be fired. As such, their performance may temporarily improve when they feel their job is at risk.


Employees who take big political steps because view themselves as political contenders without the ability to follow through in any reasonable way. For example, an entry level employee who is too busy trying to get the attention of executives to do their day-to-day job. This can be extremely problematic for their direct manager.

Risk Takers

Employees who try big things and fail. These employees may have periods where they are misunderstood as low performers but are likely to persevere with time. The risk takers differ from the overconfident as they are concerned with value creation over politics.

Low Resilience

Employees who have trouble dealing with the stresses and demands of a job. For example, a customer service representative who regularly loses it when dealing with difficult customers.

Low Self-Direction

Employees who require regular guidance from others. These employees may complete their assigned work but require much attention from others. For example, a software developer who immediately asks your senior architect for help whenever they run into a coding or technical problem. This may lower the overall productivity of your team. The individual with low self-direction may also be unlikely to learn and improve as they are by definition uninterested in solving problems and finding direction on their own.

Lack of Professionalism

Lack of professionalism such as a doctor who adopts a hostile and mocking tone towards patients.

Low Customer Satisfaction

Low customer satisfaction such as a product designer who produces designs that clients and customers dislike.

Poor Work Quality

Poor work quality such as an aircraft mechanic whose work regularly fails inspection.


Authoritarianism is the use of artifacts of authority to enjoy a personal sense of power. This can be applied to employees who creatively use processes, rules and procedures to make others unhappy in order to enjoy a sense of superiority. This doesn't create much value and is low performance but can be difficult to manage.

Rule Breaker

The free spirit who enjoys bypassing processes and ignoring procedures. In many cases, rule breakers are talented but can cause much damage to a firm in areas such as compliance, risk management, internal controls, cost management, organizational culture and reputation. For example, an executive who hires people they know without following proper procedures such that they create a bozo explosion whereby employees are hired with inflated job titles and salaries who are generally incompetent in their assigned roles.

Resistance to Change

Employees who unreasonably resist change or fail to keep up with change to their industry, profession and role. For example, a new hire who insists that your organization change all of its processes to match the way they have always done things at another firm.

Team Culture

An employee who is messing up your team culture in some way. For example, someone who is rude and disrespectful in a team where respect and cooperation are the norm.

Performance Issue

This is the complete list of articles we have written about performance issue.
Bozo Explosion
Communication Performance
Employee Feedback
Goal Setting
Low Performance
On-Time Performance
Performance Appraisals
Performance Issue
Performance Problems
Project Issues
If you enjoyed this page, please consider bookmarking Simplicable.

Performance Issue

A definition of performance issue with illustrative examples.

Performance Improvement

The common types of performance improvement.

Performance Improvement Plan

Complete examples of performance improvement plans.

Areas For Improvement

An overview of areas for improvement with specific examples.

Performance Review

An overview of performance reviews with examples and templates.

Poor Performance

An overview of poor employee performance with examples.

Performance Problems

An overview of performance problems with examples.

Employee Feedback

Useful examples of employee feedback.

Performance Management Process

An overview of the performance management process.

Performance Management

A comprehensive guide to performance management.

Professional Weaknesses

A list of common professional weaknesses.

Direct Report vs Indirect Report

The difference between a report and indirect report.

Work Quality Examples

An overview of work quality with examples.

Employee Issues

A list of common employee issues.

Management Strengths

A list of management strengths properly phrased in terms of contribution to an organization.


The definition of insubordination with examples.
The most popular articles on Simplicable in the past day.

New Articles

Recent posts or updates on Simplicable.
Site Map