As the year winds down leaders and project managers review the performance and progress of their teams. If you find that your team is falling short of where you would like or need them to be it’s time to take action to correct it. By making those plans now you can set the stage for a more successful 2014.
What can you do to get things moving in the right direction? Here are 4 steps you can take now to build a plan for success.
- Assess & analyze: Where is the root cause of the underperformance? Is it lack of ability? Lack of capacity? Lack of commitment? Look at the team overall, including yourself and look at each individual. You may find that some members lack the needed skills while other lacks a commitment to the project/team which is leading to an overall lack of capacity to get everything done.
- Develop: Once you know the cause of the underperformance you can create development plans to address the gaps. If a particular person doesn’t have the skills they need create a development plan to help them build those skills quickly. Sometimes a team member needs to develop the ability to do more work by learning time management skills or working more efficiently. Look at what can be developed in each person to benefit the team.
- Trim the deadwood: After you look at each person you may find that there is someone on the team who just is not the right fit. They may not have the aptitude for the work to be done or they may not be able to develop the needed skills. Cut them from the team to make room for someone who can help the team achieve more.
- Encourage: It’s most likely the team knows they are not hitting their marks and that is very discouraging to people. Help them see that they can reach the needed performance and that you believe in them. Taking the first three steps will help them see your commitment to their success and will help them become committed to improving. A positive outlook will create a positive environment where people want to do better. Spell out the facts of the situation and build hope for a better tomorrow.
This will take some time to do well and yet it can yield amazing performance improvements that it’s worth the time. Underperforming teams can be turned around with time and attention. You need to figure out what can be done to meet your targets and how you can help the team get there.
While looking at the team’s performance you have to take a hard look at your performance relative to the team. Are you being the leader they need to achieve the project or team goals? Ask them how you can better support them and then listen to their feedback. Some of it may be hard to hear so just absorb the information. Take the time to reflect on what you are told and implement the changes that will help you grow and help your team succeed. Your willingness to change will help set the stage for them to change as well. If you want them to change their performance you need to go first, so model what you want from them. They will like you for it and will respond well.
Learn to be a coach that helps their team achieve more and accomplish great things. As you develop or refine your coaching skills you will grow as a leader and become capable of leading teams in any situation. You can become a better coach by working with a coach to grow your skills and abilities. Again, you will be modeling the behavior you want from your team and developing yourself at the same time. Win-Win
To get more from your team you must be aware of the gaps and be willing to help close those gaps by developing the team’s skills or getting the right people on the team. It’s up to you as a leader or project manager to make sure your team is set to deliver as required.
If you are curios on how a coach could help you click here for information on a special offer designed to help you get more out of your team in 2014. We can help you do more personally and help you prepare your team for a fantastic year.