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How business owners can help step up team performance

Julianne Leybag
06 June 2017 2 minute readShare
Team performance

Employees are the lifeblood of any business — an underperforming team could spell eventual disaster. My Business discusses what business owners can do to help step up their team’s performance.

It can get pretty frustrating if an employee or a whole team fails to live up to the expectations set by the business. A lot of factors are at play when it comes to determining the root cause of a team’s underperformance, but what’s more important is to know how to motivate employees to do better at work.

Here are some of the things business owners can do to help step up their team’s performance:

  • Identify the root cause
  • Review and revise expectations
  • Increase employee motivation
  • Engage in a discussion with employees

Identify the root cause

Before taking all the necessary steps needed to improve team performance, it is crucial to first identify the root cause of employees’ lack of motivation.

There are a lot of factors that contribute to a team’s underperformance, and in most cases, it is usually a combination of them. 

A common factor that results in underperformance is a communication breakdown between business owners and their employees. This can happen if a business owner or a manager fails to communicate important details of a specific task. It is also necessary to consider that people think differently from each other: a person from the design team can think differently from someone on the IT team, for example. 

A toxic working environment could also contribute to a team’s underperformance. An employee will fail to thrive and perform well if their working environment is unhealthy and toxic and it could lead to a decrease in employee motivation.

Another factor which might cause a team’s underperformance is dissatisfaction with the company’s wage and benefits.

No matter what the root cause is, business owners should keep in mind that correctly identifying the root cause is the first step in addressing underperformance. This should serve as a wake-up call to inspire improvements which are needed to be made within the business.

Review and revise expectations

If an employee continues to fail meeting expectations set by the business, this might be the time for business owners to take a step back and review expectations. They should assess whether or not these expectations are realistic, revising these expectations to become realistic and attainable for employees.

Business owners can send a message of inclusivity by making sure that employees are involved in the decision-making process of revising set expectations. Set up a meeting with a team or an employee and seek their feedback in meeting these expectations. After discussing them, business owners can lay out revisions and ask whether the employees are comfortable with the new set of expectations.

Increase employee motivation

A fool-proof way of curbing poor performance among employees is by augmenting employee motivation. First, identify what makes employees tick. Is it better benefits? Higher wages? A positive working environment? A shift in teams? A more reasonable workload?

Whatever it is, business owners can use this to increase motivation among employees and possibly help them when it comes to improving their overall performance.

Engage in a discussion with employees

Sitting down to talk with employees and discussing their grievances not only helps in building a positive image for employees but also enables business owners to directly address any problems within the company.  

Engaging in a discussion is also recommended when dealing with an employee who remains on the underperforming spectrum of things in spite of countless chances and benefits accorded to the employee. A discussion allows business owners to build rapport with their employees and make them feel like they are truly part of the team.

Aside from engaging in a discussion, business owners are also encouraged to engage employees in activities which allow them to interact with their colleagues. This is particularly useful if a major factor in employees’ lack of motivation is a toxic working relationship with their colleagues.

Business owners might find it hard to address demotivation among their employees. A set of loyal and motivated employees is a must for any business to keep going. 

How business owners can help step up team performance
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Julianne Leybag

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