8 Actionable Tips To Manage An Underperforming Team
Employees at all levels frequently experience underperformance, and each circumstance differs. Individual errors, hostile interpersonal relationships, poor communication between the team leader and members, or some mix of these might all be reasons a team underperforms. You may be at a loss if your team is underperforming and your manager is pushing for a change, especially if you feel you’ve been giving the team everything.
Here are some proven team performance management tips that will help you elevate your team’s performance. Let’s deep dive…
In this article, we’ll cover:
8 Tips for Performance Management as mentioned below
- Asses the issue, provide constructive feedback
- Explain expectations and acknowledge their contribution
- Set performance goals and action plan together
- Keep regular track of your team’s progress
- Motivate and encourage your team members
- Address the skill or resource gap
- Create challenging opportunities
- Recognize progress, provide incentives for performance
1. Asses the issue, provide constructive feedback
One of the most effective ways to drive performance is to first bring awareness about the performance gaps by putting into place a consistent and constructive feedback mechanism. This is the first step in managing under-performers.
According to a report from Clutch’s HR Employee Feedback Survey, 68% of employees feel satisfied in their jobs and perform well when they receive accurate and consistent feedback.
Giving your employees timely, respectful, regular and specific feedback with hard numbers and facts regarding performance concerns, how their behaviors impact the company, and what is required and expected from the employee going forward is important.
Equally important is to first understand the root cause, their challenges, and concerns. Whether it is skill gap, unclear expectations, job dissatisfaction, lack of training and development, personal issues, etc. A good leader will examine the issues and determine what needs to be fixed or changed.
2. Explain expectations and acknowledge their contribution
Clarity of goals and their role in achieving the goals is equally important. At start of any project, convey the project’s goals and objectives to your team members to encourage them to perform at their best potential in achieving a common goal. This will help them comprehend their role in the broad sense of the word and how their contribution impacts the company.
This team performance management strategy will increase employee engagement and make expectations obvious when you convey a comprehensive picture of the organisation.
3. Set performance goals and action plan together
You can establish clear performance targets using strategies like SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-framed performance indicators. Work along with the team to help them establish their own performance objectives and chalk out the action plan together to let them know you are working with them to better the performance.
Instead of just giving them the conventional performance targets, this will involve the team in the process and win their support achieving the identified objectives.
4. Keep regular track of your team’s progress
It’s not the end of the story once you’ve had a one-on-one performance discussion with the employee. Consistently checking in to see if they have met the predetermined performance goals and targets is crucial. Also, track the development and provide support wherever required. On achieving key milestones, recognize their achievement to ensure the keep up the momentum
This will show your interest in your colleagues’ work, and your diligence will, in turn, greatly improve staff morale and performance.
5. Motivate and encourage your team members
As you keep track of the progress, your employee is making – or not making – look for areas where you can provide encouragement. Encouragement is a positive response to something being done, something in progress. Occasional feedback like, “You’re making good progress on the project and I know the outcome is going to be great.”
Similarly, we all need a dangling carrot to help us keep going forward. Find the motivation triggers like peer recognition, monetary rewards, working on challenging projects – use these motivational tools to help the team/ individual perform better.
6. Address the skill or resource gap
Sometimes people who will do the work, but simply are not equipped to do it. Smart Managers are agile to find if it is the skill gap or lack of resources that is impeding the performance. Identify the gaps and bring in adequate supplies, tools, and knowledge for the job to be done. Never forget your role as a manager is to be an enabler to equip your team members with the necessary skills, knowledge and resources to help them perform at their best.
7. Create challenging opportunities
Once a team member has mastered every facet of a profession, some roles may become too boring and dull. Because they are no longer driven to complete their work, this might easily have a negative impact on the employees’ performance.
By giving them creative opportunities that encourage them to think outside the box and delegating new initiatives to further include them in their roles, you can get the performance back on track.
8. Recognise progress, provide incentives for performance
If there are no incentives in place to reward employees’ performance, then either performance levels will progressively decline or individuals may quit in search of a more rewarding organisation. Rewards don’t have to be expensive. An effective programme of appreciation and reward can go a long way toward maintaining staff motivation.
To come up with innovative incentives to recognise your employees’ performance, ask yourself things like what you can do to help them more effectively and how they see their careers developing over the next 12 months.
Leading a team that is underperforming surely is a challenging job. No matter how ever daunting it is now, it also provide an opportunity to test your mettle as a highly effective leader. Embrace the challenge by following these effective actionable tips. It will not only work for your own career but also help to make a meaningful difference for your team and your organization.
Go ahead and actively incorporate these team performance management strategies and help your team grow with you.