When Team’s Performance Is Mediocre, Fit It Quick
Leadership Tip of the week, adapted from HBR
What do you do when someone’s work is OK but not great? The toughest test of a manager isn’t dealing with poor performance — it’s addressing mediocrity. Don’t let lackluster performance fester.
- Start by showing how mediocrity negatively affects your team, the organization, and its customers. You could, for example, have middling employees listen in on calls with complaining customers so that they understand the negative effects of not doing their jobs well.
- It’s important to share accountability. Encourage your colleagues to immediately and respectfully confront one another when problems arise. There is no way for even the strongest supervisor to see and address every performance gap.
- Speak up when you see mediocrity in other parts of the organization. For example, if everyone knows that a corporate initiative isn’t working but no one is discussing it, your team will notice whether you have the integrity to point out the emperor’s lack of clothes.
High performance is a norm that needs to be defended regularly and vigilantly.