Regardless of who you are, performing poorly at work can easily take toll on your self esteem. Whether you received a bad performance review or you just know you haven’t been doing well at work, here are some steps you can take.
- Ask yourself ‘what’?
What are you struggling with? What areas could use improvement. Try to get to the bottom of what specifically is the problem. If you did receive a performance review, this part will be easy as your supervisor would have already pointed out the problem areas. If not, really dig deep to try to figure out what the problem is. Do you not understand what’s expected of you? Are you doing good work, but just not fast enough? Are you having trouble working with a certain person? Etc.
- Ask yourself ‘why’?
Once you know the ‘what’ it’s time to figure out the ‘why’. Why are you struggling in this particular aspect of your work? Is it because your tasks aren’t being explained in a way that makes sense to you? Is it because you just don’t feel motivated to do certain things? Is it because you don’t have the proper resources to do what’s expected of you?
- Create an action plan
Now that we know the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ it’s time to do something about it. You’ve acknowledged the problem, now sit down and start thinking about possible solutions. Here’s an example of what this might look like.
WHAT is the issue:
I’m not completing my tasks quickly enough. The quality of work is good, but my efficiency is bad.
WHY am I experiencing this problem:
I have a hard time focusing and I get easily distracted.
For the next two days, I will keep a journal of everything I do at work, this way I can monitor my distractions (ie. bathroom breaks, chatting with coworkers, time on my phone, etc). Once I have identified my main distractions, I will set a plan to reduce/eliminate them (ie. leave my phone in the car and tell family and friends to call work in case of emergency).
It’s important to note that the ‘why’ may not always be something you’re doing. For example, perhaps you’re not getting your work done within the expected timeframe, yet you’re fully focused and committed at work. This may be a matter of you not having the proper tools to do your work efficiently, or maybe the expectations are just far too high. In this case, your action plan might include having a conversation with your supervisor, asking them to reduce/modify your workload or provide you with additional resources.
There are many reasons why your performance at work may be suffering, many of which you have control over and many of which you might not. If you find you’re generally feeling unmotivated at work, here are some tips for getting excited about your job again.