Eight ways to turn around a low performing team member

Last month I spoke about how you can help your team to achieve more by setting up systems and communications. But what if one of your team members isn’t pulling their weight?

If you have this situation, it can have a negative ripple effect on the rest of the team, including the need to redo their work, missing deadlines, and worse still, you may have to deal with unhappy clients. 

This can lead to low morale and decreased productivity amongst the team members who are having to cover the work.  

If you find yourself in this situation, you need to take action and fast!

But don’t worry, follow my 8 steps below to see if you can turn this around:

  1. Sit down as soon as possible with the team member in question to discuss their performance (either in person or over a video call if a remote worker). Be honest and direct in your feedback but not accusatory.
  2. Give them a chance to explain themselves fully and without interruption where possible. Always make sure you listen thoughtfully and add prompts if necessary.
  3. It’s also important to ensure that this conversation is confidential and not shared with anyone else on the team. Remember, you’re trying to help them improve their performance, not punish them, so avoid using a disciplinary tone. Instead, focus on being positive and supportive throughout the process.
  4. If the reason is due to a personal problem, is it short term or is it a more permanent issue? Is there anything that can be changed to accommodate them? Think of solutions and what they need rather than dismissing and thinking nothing can be done.
  5. If there is another reason, encourage them to come up with their own plan of action to create improve in their performance. This could involve additional training, working with another team member to gain knowledge or skills, or changing the way they approach their work.
  6. Once the plan is set, make sure you set a timeframe for each stage to happen and agree on regular check-ins so that you can monitor their progress. Make sure you are providing feedback as each stage is achieved.
  7. Finally, be sure to praise them when they make improvements, even if it’s small steps in the right direction. This will help to motivate them to continue making changes and improve their performance.
  8. If you’ve tried all of the above and there has been no improvement in their performance, then you may need to consider other options such as changing their role within the team or finding a replacement.

Discussions about someone’s performance can be difficult, but they are necessary in order to maintain a high-performing team and hopefully this will help you turn them around and help them get back on track.

And if not? Then at least you will have tried everything you can to help them and the rest of your team before you consider letting them go.

I hope these steps will help you manage any low performing team members and help you to get your team back on track.

Do you have any other tips for dealing with low performing team members? Please let me know by sending me an email.

And if there is anything that you would like help with, just send me a request and I’ll be sure to consider it.

Take care

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