For those who are managing a team, be they subordinates or indirect reports, you can likely categorize the team members into one of the following categories:
1. Gems: The top performers; people who, when given an assignment or task most often have it completed before we expect. No questions, no problems. They are “the go to” people.
2. Slugs: These are people who show up for work, but not necessarily to work. Despite their seemingly friendly demeanor, they are clear regarding their desire to be elsewhere at any given time. To maximize their performance requires consistent monitoring and prods to keep them moving in the right direction.
3. Duds: These are the problem child that exist within virtually every team and either you have the power (and nerve) to apply a focused performance management program, or you lack the capacity (or ability) to manage their performance (i.e. unionized environment).
From my experience 80% of time spent managing and interacting with a team which is comprised of a cross section of these individuals (and most are), is spent in managing the “Duds” found in number three above. The challenge however is that the “Gems” are your future. Ripe for development and succession, if anyone needs mentoring and guidance, it would be these folks.
So what’s the resolution? An effective process applied with both speed and accuracy.
Setting a strict course of action to deal with mediocre or poor performing team members (and actually following it) is the key to freeing up valuable time to work with higher performing individuals which are critical to achieving your teams objectives.
Here is a model you can apply to deal with less than optimal performers, freeing up your time to work with and develop the higher performers:
© Shawn Casemore 2012. All rights reserved.