One of the biggest challenges you will face as a team leader is dealing with teams that are poorly performing or are considered to be low performance. Low performance teams are often stuck, not delivering on key outcomes, operating in a culture of blame and may even be in denial. So if you are the leader of a low performance team, what can you do about it?
Tip 1: Acknowledge performance issues
Too often, performance issues are swept under the carpet in the belief that they will go away. The first step of addressing performance issues is to get them out in the open. Create the opportunity for people to get all of their issues out in the open in a non judgemental way.
Tip 2: Identify some successes
No matter how it might seem to those in the team, there are likely to be successes being achieved day after day. Get the team to start to recognise and write down the successes that has been achieved collectively.
Tip 3: Get the team to identify improvement ideas
If you have a team that is regarded as being low performance there is little benefit in trying to impose solutions on the team and expecting them to all of a sudden change. Focus attention on getting the team to identify improvement ideas.
Tip 4: Create a space to deal with conflicts
Low performance teams can often have conflicts and as the team leader you need create space to deal with conflicts. It can also be helpful to have a way of recognising when conflict is showing up.
Tip 5: Take small steps
If a team is low performance and wants to improve, it is important not to be over optimistic about the speed or way in which change can be made. Get the team to take small steps and recognise the achievements and successes.
Bottom line- low performance teams can be tough to deal with and require a sensitive and structured approach from you as the leader. So what will you start doing differently?
Since 2006 I’ve worked with in excess of 7,000 accountants and professionals in workshops, seminars and one to one helping them land their next jobs and become better leaders, presenters and business partners. Before that I spent 25 years in accountancy climbing the career ladder from Payments Clerk to FD. I’m a CIMA Fellow, Certified Professional Coach and Team Coach Facilitator.