As a manager, you need to deal with a myriad challenges and one of the most difficult among them could be managing and fixing an underperforming team. Underperformance has many aspects like not achieving targets, low productivity, poor standard of work and the list goes on and it adversely impacts the organization in multiple ways. In fact, one underperforming team can damage the business as well as the morale and efficiency of other teams too. Inheriting an underperforming team could be a nightmare for leaders but if you succeed in turning it around you would certainly add a star skill to your resume. And for this, you need to analyze the problem first and then design an approach to turn those under-performers into star performers of the organization. Here are some strategies that could help you do that:
Motivating employees to perform at their best isn’t easy. It’s a delicate and continuous process that requires a lot more than just an annual performance review or going through employee files. Employees often lose motivation due to several reasons like burnout, poor communication, silos, etc and such employees can severely impact the health of your business. A survey conducted by Gallop revealed that unhappy employees could cost the U.S. economy up to $550 billion each year in lost productivity. On the other hand when everyone on your team is well-motivated and inspired, their combined skill-set and energy can help your company achieve any goal. No matter how many super talented employees you have on your team, if they are not motivated enough you will never get the results you want. Leadership includes a lot of responsibilities and providing the right motivation to the employees is a very important one that often gets overlooked. Motivation is directly linked to team success and thus it’s important to find out thoughtful ways of motivating employees.
Accountability is one of the most important traits of high performing teams. It has a direct impact on productivity and engagement and, consequently, results. It is also linked to increased commitment to work and employee morale. Accountability is about taking responsibility for an outcome and not just the task. It’s about following through and delivering what you committed. Accountability is important at every level of the organization and when every member of the team demonstrates accountability, it leads to strong and cohesive teams, where people trust each other and work together to reach a common goal. However, many organizations lack this significant trait among their teams and fostering accountability isn’t always an easy thing to do. Often, when employees aren’t accountable, the managers hesitate to call them out to avoid harming the work relationships or, worse, demoralizing them. Also, many managers micromanage or spill out their frustrations in the name of holding people accountable which, in turn, negatively impacts employee performance and motivation. Today, we all work in a collaborative work environment where we have to depend on others to complete tasks, and if people aren’t accountable, the efforts of the entire team get wasted. Holding people accountable is essential for team management and thankfully, there are some simple yet effective ways a manager can do this.
A team is much more than just a group of people and hence there is a significant difference between group thinking and team thinking. The times have changed and so have the approaches to business solutions. Team building has gained a lot of emphases lately and managers are putting significant efforts to harness the potential of individuals and channelize them towards achieving a common objective. One of the major responsibilities of managers or team leaders today, while building a high-performing team, is to inculcate and encourage team-thinking to facilitate better decisions and results. Team thinking is essentially collaborative thinking, focussed on a common goal, where every member of the team is willing to listen carefully and consider views and options for making the best decision for clients, organization, and individuals.
People are increasingly looking for personalized user experiences in every field, where they can mold things and situations as per their personal preferences, interests, and needs. The same goes for employees as well who are bringing their unique needs to the table and are expecting personalized experiences at work. Human resources functions evolve continuously with changing trends and regulations and now they can no more rely on a “one-size-fits-all” approach for talent management. Organizations are now focussing more on providing tailored work experiences to their employees. And, with the growing demand for personalization in the workplace, experts also believe that this particular trend can be instrumental in bringing together the skillsets of a diverse workforce and has the potential to improve engagement, retention and workplace interactions.
To succeed in today’s marketplace that is uncertain, ambiguous, complex and volatile, companies need to be Agile. An Agile organization has the ability to cope with continuous changes and take advantage of the opportunities that come along. However, this requires some fundamental changes in the thought process and work culture. Agile companies meet the changing market demands by quickly developing products and services with high efficiency, keeping the quality intact. Agility is closely coupled with digital transformation and empowers businesses to stay ahead of the competition. Agile companies have a business model that generates value for both the customers as well as the organization. Let’s have a look at the characteristics of an Agile organization:
Managing employees in a unionized environment has its own set of challenges. Unions and employers are often on the opposite sides of the table representing different interests which results in a tense relationship between the two. However, by using the right techniques and strategies, the management can ease this working relationship, helping both the parties benefit from the interaction. The key to success in this special framework is knowing the rules and principles that govern the unionized workforce. A good management-union relationship means both the management and the union employees are aiming to improve the performance and sustainability of the organization which, in turn, benefits both employees and employers.
The World Economic Forum (WEF), in a recent report, has revealed that by the year 2022 about 75 million human jobs might be replaced by robots. However, the automation of services will also create 133 million new positions. This suggests that workplaces are undergoing a colossal transformation. Organizations are working towards integrating new technologies into the business environment, and lately many initiatives are being taken to adopt the Virtual Assistant (VA) functionality for enhancing employee experience, efficiency, and productivity. Nevertheless, like any other technology, VA is also subject to speculations and is triggering concerns regarding the job security of people. But data and many experts have revealed that the technology is making workplaces better, eliminating human limitations.
The human resources department has a number of compliance responsibilities under which it has to take care of various laws and regulations, both at local and national levels. Needless to mention, compliance has always been a complex area, having multilayered issues and challenges, and with the governments at various levels becoming more and more stringent about the enforcement of the laws, the HR department needs to be even more informed and skilled. Also, the laws and regulations, today, keep changing frequently and the HR professionals often find it difficult to keep up. Compliance in an organization covers a number of subjects like compensation, training programs, management practices, employee behavior and more. The HR department acts as the front line of defense for any company, and is responsible for ensuring that the employees are treated fairly, they are taken care of and the business complies with all the regulations. Also, a weak compliance program can bring significant legal risks to the business.
Competition in the workplace is quite common but not every organization makes an effort to ensure that the competition is healthy. Workplace competition can, indeed, be beneficial to the business as it boosts productivity and employee engagement. When in competition, everyone wants to do better than others which leads to increased efforts for achieving results. However, in some cases, it may also lead to low morale, stress, and long-lasting resentment among employees which could be the consequence of constant comparison. Not all employees have the same temperament and while some can thrive well in a competitive environment, others might dread it. Thus, it’s important for organizations to foster healthy competition in the workplace which eliminates the negative effects. Companies often create a competitive work culture by introducing policies like rewarding the employee of the month or announcing promotions with the aim of inspiring the employees. But how many of them bother to find out if their procedures are actually inspiring the employees or demotivating them?