Crystal Palace lost 1-0 to Tottenham Hotspur in their most recent Premier League match.
Palace lost 1-0 to Spurs at White Hart Lane, with Heung-Min Son scoring the only goal of the game, and Pardew felt that certain individuals were not at their best.
"The issue with Wilf is that he's a fabulous footballer," Pardew said. "I'm trying to get him to understand that every moment in every game is very important. It's about concentration, about having that same desire to defend and attack, movement and everything that a top player produces
"Unfortunately today I didn't think he did that. He had 45 minutes to show me he was up to speed on those areas and he wasn't. He needs to take away a lesson. He's perhaps unlucky to be taken off because there were one or two others that were probably just below the level, but he was probably worst of the pack."
Pardew's tactic of publicly criticising Zaha could be risky, as the winger has proven to be a confidence player in the past.
At his best, he is a major weapon, but the youngster can be inconsistent and when his morale is low, he often is a frustrating player to watch.
There is no doubting his potential, though, and Pardew's comments are an indication of the high standards that he has created for himself at Palace.
Palace are no longer a side that are content with just staying up in the Premier League, and they have big ambitions for the future - with Pardew clearly trying to make sure his squad appreciate that expectation levels are rising at Selhurst Park.