I read this week that workers in the UK are unproductive. Productivity is the new government watchword.
Of course we all want to be productive – but if you focus on productivity without any thought for quality, customer focus or value for money, you may well be productively doing all the wrong things. And ‘There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which shouldn’t be done at all.’ as our friend Mr Drucker would say.
I’m a great believer that most people come to work to do a good job. It’s our job simply not to spoil that!
Having a clear vision, consistent values and simple operating processes are a good start. Training and developing, challenging and rewarding – doing the right things well. How can we go wrong?
Well, it’s not really that straightforward, is it! Not every team member is going to gel with you and your organisation; have the same enthusiasm, the same drive, be a positive cog in the wheel. Occasionally you may find that one of your team is not only unproductive but also negatiyely affects those around them.
You may have someone like that in your team right now, maybe they’ve been like that for some time, maybe you’ve talked about them and the impact they’re having…but never TO them? A recent Chartered Management Institute survey found that UK workers would rather tackle a relationship breakup than tackle someone who’s performing poorly.
And it can be a bit daunting to have to confront a bully, or a fast thinker who might wrap you up in knots. But it has to be done…and by you. You owe it to yourself and your team, and your customers.
Gird your loins. Prepare. Focus on behaviour, have specific examples and be really clear about the positive outcome you want. You may decide that they can be turned around – you never know what’s going on for them until you ask. And if you decide that you need to part company, don’t procrastinate, don’t shelve the problem – solve it. What will be different in a week, a month or a year except probably, ‘more damage’? Bite the bullet now.
If you want a team that is exactly that – a TEAM – then take the actions you need to, to build it and maintain it. A good team is not just great for business, it’s great fun too!
Do one thing: Identify any potential bad penny in your team or, if you’ve known you have a problem for a while, take action today to resolve it.
ps If you’re forever putting off difficult conversations check out our handy guide which will take you step by step through the process. How to Handle Difficult Conversations