What Processes Are Used to Determine an Employee's Weakness?

All employees have weaknesses, even a company’s best performing employees. A company’s goal is to turn those weaknesses into strengths by identifying in what area an employee struggles and helping him overcoming his weak points. To identify an employee’s weaknesses, managers typically review an employee’s performance, meet with him one-on-one to discuss and look for weaknesses and test him in various areas.

  1. Interview

    • Employers typically don’t interview current employees unless that employee is up for a possible promotion. But to determine if the employee is suited for the promotion, the interviewer attempts to gauge the employee’s weaknesses and determine if they will become a serious liability in the employee’s new position. Determining an employee’s weakness through an interview requires the interviewer to ask the employee to list his weaknesses, look over the employee’s resume and look for common weaknesses when the employee answers questions, such as communication issues. For example, the inability for an employee to convey his thoughts about a hypothetical problem tells the interviewer that the employee has difficulty communicating effectively.

    Performance Evaluation

    • Performance evaluations enable managers to fully evaluate an employee on his strengths and weaknesses. A strong performance evaluation requires a manager to document his employee’s performance throughout the course of the evaluation period so that he accurately evaluates the employee. One way a manager might determine an employee’s weakness is by making a note of each time the employee fails to meet a deadline. The manager can then use that information to explain to the employee that he seems to have difficulty managing his time.


    • Not all companies require employees to complete tests, but those that do look at the results for employee strengths and weaknesses. Some companies reserve tests specifically for interviews, while others require employees to complete tests every so many months or years. The tests usually gauge an employee’s knowledge about workplace etiquette and policies, but may also delve deeper and test an employee’s personality. These tests are either scored by a manager or compared to a scoring sheet.


    • Identifying the causes of a weakness goes hand-in-hand with identifying the weakness. Performance evaluations provide employers with the most thorough information when it comes to determining the cause of weaknesses, because the weaknesses are determined by documenting the employee’s performance. The cause is typically identified first and the weakness immediately after. Determining the cause of weaknesses identified through tests or interviews requires the employer to work with the employee one-on-one and find out why he has difficulty in certain areas. For example, the reasons why an employee has difficulty communicating aren’t always evident. The employee may be nervous or lack confidence. By going over the employee’s weaknesses with him, the manager can better identify the causes of the weaknesses.

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