Have the Courage to Manage Poor Performance

Have the Courage to Manage Poor Performance
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Do You Have the Courage to Manage Poor Performance?
To be a good new manager, you must have the courage to manage poor performance.  Do you think you can transition from the tame kitty to a bold new leader?  It all starts by setting clear performance standards and then understanding how each person sees their work and how they want to contribute.

Evaluating Who Should Stay and Who Should Go
Beyond the knowledge, skills and general positive attitude required to succeed as a new manager, new managers need to have the courage to tackle one of the most difficult aspects of taking on a new team – evaluating who should stay and who, if any, should go.

Do Not Keep Underperformers or Cultural Misfits
It is critical for new managers to not delay or prolong their leadership responsibility to make sound people decisions. Not moving quickly enough on poor performers is one of the top five warning signs of a low performance work culture because it:

  • Undermines Respect
    Team members know who the bad apples are. They count on strong managers to either coach poor performers to acceptable performance levels or let them go. To tolerate them as a manager is interpreted as a leadership weakness and an invitation to lower their own performance.
  • Decreases Morale and Trust
    New managers typically come aboard with expectations of improved productivity, performance and business results. If you don’t deliver and do what you say you will do, your team will be demotivated and lose their trust in your leadership.
  • Sabotages Business Performance
    If your team is measuring its effort by the lowest denominator, all-round team performance (and thus business performance) will suffer.

Guidelines to Build the Best Team
Once you figure out the capabilities of your team and act on underperformers, you should:

  1. Meet Individually with Each Team Member
    Have a one-on-one meeting to know them personally. Ask what they like to do and what they are good at. Get a sense of their working style. Find out what they think would make the team work more effectively.
  2. Understand Their Strengths and Weaknesses
    Review the resumes of the team and their records at the company. Have they performed in the past at high levels? If not, you need to find out what stood in their way.
  3. Articulate the Team Culture You Want to Create
    Consider which current employees will fit into or adapt to the culture you desire.
  4. Assess Team Dynamics
    Determine if the team has worked well together before you became manager. If there were problems, you need to uncover and address them.

The Bottom Line
You are not on a witch hunt. You are simply trying to assemble a team that will perform at its peak. That means that they hold similar values, respect one another, agree upon expectations of performance, are clear about how each member contributes to the team goal, and are willing to cooperate with and support one another.

Once you have the courage to manage poor performance, download 3 Must-Have Ingredients of High Performing Teams for New Managers

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