Identifying Performance Issues With Your Project Team (and Tips to Overcome Them)
If you are a project manager and you are looking for a single surefire trick to deal with performance-related issues of your project team then you are hunting for fish in the sky.
All the teams you had in the past and the coming teams you will work with in the future will be different from one another in several ways. Members of a team are bound to be different in terms of skill, experience, attitude, sensibility, ambition, motivation, behavior, etc. This post will steer you towards identifying performance issues with your project team and solving these issues.
Being a leader, who has to ensure optimum levels of performance in the team, you have to be a multi-talented person who can handle and meet the requirements of different members of the team and cater to their technical and orientation needs.
Let us first understand from the simplest to the most elaborate reasons behind performance issues in a project team.
- Lack of right ambience and environment
However cliched it may sound, the right atmosphere is of supreme importance to ensure good performance of teams. You need to ask yourself a few questions about the ambience and atmosphere of your office before doubting the abilities and attitude of your team members.
The right ambience includes a pleasant working area with good lighting, ventilation, right temperature, uninterrupted availability of water, a clean pantry, nice washrooms, etc. (some indoor plants can make it all the better). These are the basic necessities to make your employees feel comfortable at the office.
In the absence of such amenities, there will be a cribbing session happening among employees every now and then. It will damage the organization’s goodwill and will surely affect people’s sincerity and engagement in their work badly.
A time-to-time updation of all these amenities is important to provide a smooth work environment for the employees.
Absenteeism can be an important reason for the decline in the performance of some of your teammates. Those people who are hit really hard by the Monday blues are most probably coming to office just for a paycheck. Such people tend to call in sick every other Friday or Monday just to enjoy a long weekend. This reflects their laid back attitude towards their work.
Such an attitude has some serious repercussions for performance. Though, a laid back attitude might not always be the reason for absenteeism. There is a possibility that something in their personal lives (sickness, family issues, other responsibilities) might be leading to frequent absenteeism.
Whatever the reasons may be, absenteeism will always affect performance badly. Absent people miss meetings, cut important communication and slow down the speed and quality of the overall work.
3. Lack of mutual cooperation
This is one factor which is not very obviously visible to figure out sometimes. This is possible that there is a sense of dissent and non-cooperation going on among your teammates which is affecting the overall performance of your team.
In such a situation, people will be least interested to share ideas and collaborate positively to make the project a success. Mutual cooperation is one of the foundational qualities to make any team a successful one. Lack of cooperation wears off the energy and enthusiasm of people in a team.
4. Disregard for company values
Disregard for core company values will surely affect the performance badly. For example — if the employees of customer service company will be uncordial or rude towards their customers, how can they at all have long term clients. Some people tend to be such that indiscipline is their guilty pleasure. You can always take the difficult road with such people if they do not make improvements to being counselled officially.
5. Lack of ability
This is a big one. When a team member misses deadlines all the time, when he keeps on asking other team members to help him in his work, when he repeats the same mistakes over and again, when he fails to understand something that has been explained repeatedly, his abilities are bound to be questioned.
After reading this excerpt, if you have already made your mind to fire that one teammate, you are highly mistaken. The cost procured on hiring and training a new employee is far more than retraining this not so efficient employee.
Make sure you explore all the options you have to bring something fruitful out of this situation. A one-on-one conversation with that employee might help. It will help you understand what are their real struggles. You can retrain, resupply, reassign or refit such employees to help them fit in a role where they can perform optimally well.
6. Too stringent rules and regulations
Are you pointing out your employees like a nagging wife if they get late by a minute? Are you being too finicky about following some unsubstantial rules at work? Concentrating way too much on little rules about code of conduct in the office and ignoring their performance in their work can demotivate your teammates which is sure to affect their performance.
7. Lack of motivation
High performance is an amalgamation of right abilities and right motivation. Even your best resources would fail to make an impact through their work when they are not motivated.
If you are feeling that motivation is an employee’s intrinsic attribute and you can do nothing about it, then you are mistaken. Your approach towards your employees can make or mar their motivation.
Acknowledging their sincere efforts will always boost up their energy levels whereas being too critical about everything they do can kill creativity and innovative ideas.
Here is what you can do as a team leader if you feel a certain employee has a laid back attitude or his level of motivation is low.
- Set performance goals
- Provide assistance
- Provide feedback
Let me elaborate on these points.
Set performance goals
If you only assign a task to your teammates without giving them a proper outlook of what are they supposed to achieve with this task, they are bound to stay laid back. So, you should rather set a task, set a deadline with a clear understanding of what the final output should be like. This will energize your employees and they will work towards achieving that goal on time and by taking care of quality standards.
Right assistance goes a long way. You should be approachable enough as a team manager. Answer a teammate’s queries and doubts regarding the particular task. Apart from this, you should provide required training and resources to finish any task so that your teammates does not feel stuck on how to go about things.
Constructive feedback is an important step to motivate people. Give instant and honest feedback to your team members after every task. You should tell them what was good and what was not up to the mark. Remember, feedback is less about the person and more about the performance. Concentrate solely on the performance while giving feedback. Do not forget to extend appreciation for the positive points of their performance.
8. Faulty collaborations
By faulty collaborations, I mean the lack of communication or collaboration channels in your team. Frequent meetings and email conversations almost seem indispensable to work together as a team. But have you ever imagined how much time goes into conducting meetings every now and then or going back-and-forth through email threads to maintain communication?
Team managers who equip their teams with the right tools to manage the work in a proper way are not only the favorites of their teams rather they perform way better than those who lack such tools.
Not able to imagine how a project management tool can change your life? Have a look at ProofHub.
ProofHub, a project management software will help you to have all your project related files, documents, conversations, status reports, chats etc. in one place. ProofHub can be your best friend that will never ditch you. Let’s discuss the features of ProofHub in some detail.
You can allocate tasks to team members and they will be immediately notified about their tasks. You can also divide a task into smaller subtasks and assign these subtasks to ensure that people are clear about their part of the responsibility.
Isn’t it amazing?
No more need for daily meetings to discuss tasks.
No more emails for assigning task.
Everybody gets a specific and crisp update of their responsibilities. Tasks have been allocated. What next?
Try ProofHub for free and collaborate better.
Well! You can also track the status report of every team member’s tasks in just a click using Kanban boards.
Kanban board is like a white board divided into different columns. Every column has different stages of a workflow. These columns represent stages like ‘to do’, ‘doing’, ‘done’ etc. ( you can customize the board as per your needs). Now every time a teammate moves a task from ‘to do’ to ‘doing’ or ‘done’ stage, you will be notified.
And your team members don’t need to send you the file in an email thread which you will save in some other folder on your PC. Rather, they can attach files in one place and you have access to all project-related files without any extra effort.
Also you can improve your workflow by carefully studying the board and seeing where is the loophole.
Communication is an integral part of teamwork. Obstacles in communication channel lead to obstacles in optimum performance of project teams. ProofHub facilitates frequent and easy team communication.
Did you ask how?
Well! It has a section of ‘Discussions’ dedicated solely to team conversations. You can initiate a new discussion and subscribe people to it. Here you have all your team under one roof in the speck of a minute. People can share ideas, discuss issues anywhere, anytime through this platform. You can ask questions and appreciate ideas just like a normal conference room meeting. It is like your virtual conference room.
Sign up on ProofHub now to streamline your communication.
Announcements are yet another section for team communication preferably the non-project related communication. Team members can wish birthdays, welcome a new teammate, celebrate milestones, appreciate performances by using this feature called Announcements.
This is just a little glance we had at what a Project Management software could do to improve your team communication and enhance overall performance.
Identifying the issues of your project team needs an intelligent approach to understand the abilities, attitudes, interactions and work dynamics of a team. A team leader can motivate his teammates by being a living example of dedication and hardwork. Apart from this, the right technologies and tools can definitely play a key role in enhancing the overall performance of all teams by leaps and bounds.
We will be happy to know if this article brought some insight about performance issues in project teams. Do comment to let us know your ideas on the same.
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