What to do When Staff Performance Subsides

It can be tough and confusing when a successful team member’s performance level subsides. This can happen for many reasons, and it affects even your most productive team members. When you see this happen, I suggest you intervene effectively with the purpose of genuine help by doing the following:

See if your team member is okay and if there is anything you should know about. This can help you understand their personal situation and whether they are dealing with a new and challenging circumstance. Events can cause your team member to become distracted, but your intervention may help them find focus again.

Find out if there were any changes to your team member’s job. For example, they may have trouble using new technology or accessing resources. Or maybe a client is giving your team member a hard time. Discuss with this your team member and see what you can do to help them overcome their roadblock.

Look for any signs of burnout or stress. Burnout affects many people every year and is caused by working too hard or having to deal with too many changes in the workplace. It is easy to criticise your team member for their negativity and self-pacing; however, I believe it is more effective to help your team member keep up to speed and regain their resilience.

Offer your team member recognition when possible. According to a survey conducted by Cicero Group, staff believe that recognition motivates superior performance better than autonomy, inspiration and even pay. Offering recognition does not have to be time-consuming or expensive. It can involve doing something small such as mentioning excellent performance and great contributions during your daily stand up meeting. Doing this might even motivate your team members to try their hardest to make notable contributions.

Even your best performers can be hindered in circumstances or lose momentum from time to time. As the team leader, I suggest you try to intervene as early as you can, because then you will feel more hopeful about reaching a positive outcome. Your team member will feel happy knowing that you are confident in their abilities and that you are willing to support them during a challenging time.