8 Ways to handle the under performing team member

If a member of your team isn’t performing like the others, it can bring down morale and affect the overall goals of the whole team. It’s important, and fair, for both the team and the underperforming employee, to find a way to resolve the issue.

How do you identify an underperforming team member?

An underperforming team member is a person who is either failing to perform his/her job responsibility or failing to perform up to the standard expected by the team or the organization.  The obvious way of identifying an underperforming team member is to look at his/her KPI. Is that person meeting the expectation of the team or the organization? How do his colleagues feel about his performance? How does he respond to the fact that he is not meeting the expectations? All these questions can help to identify an underperforming team member.


How to handle an underperforming team member?

Every team leader, at some point in their career with, has to learn to deal with an underperforming team member. There are a number of good ways, and equally as many ineffective ways to handle the underperforming team member.

Let’s go through 8 proven methods to effectively handle an underperforming team member.

1. Give feedback

Before you criticize your team member’s efforts or ask them why their work quality has gone downhill, give them feedback first. Likewise, tell them what has changed and how can they improve their work within an agreed schedule.

2. Listen

Just because you are the team leader, doesn’t mean you’ll do all the talking. Communication is a two-way street; therefore, let your teammates speak out and tell why his/her attitude and performance at work changed.

3. Tell managers about the issue

If one team member opens about burnout at work, chances are others may struggle with the same problem, too. The effective way to manage this scenario is to discuss the company culture and the problem and remedy with department heads.

4. Understand what makes them tick

Spend time to know your team members and discover their long-term career goals and aspirations. It will be rather difficult to direct and engage them without understanding what keeps them going.

5. Check their progress

Effective leaders monitor the progress of their stuff once they have set the goal. In doing this, they’ll appreciate your diligence and interest to help them grow their careers and be accountable for their work.

6. Recognize their accomplishment

One that discourages employees to do excellent work is feeling undervalued. Therefore, whenever they put in their efforts don’t forget to recognize their hard work and-at-least-give them a simple reward or token of appreciation.

7. Work on continued underperformance

If performing team members see one under-performing colleague slacking off but getting feedback from you, they’ll also become disengaged. Formally call the team members attention and tell him/her you don’t tolerate such an attitude in the workplace.

8. Plan tailored career performance goals together

Ask your team members how they want to improve, what skills they want to learn, and what goals they want to accomplish. In particular, the career goals you make together will further motivate them to achieve better work quality.


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