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Monitoring effort and its outcomes

USING agreed indicators of performance, managers can monitor the efforts and outcomes of both team and individual performance. When team and/or individual performance don’t come up to the required standards, it’s the manager’s responsibility to take corrective action. In the case of individuals, the manager needs to act in such a way as to convince the individual to improve and to do it without resistance. The consequences of doing nothing when a member of the work group is not performing can be serious. It will frustrate other members of the team and affect your credibility as a manager, as well as affect external and internal customers of your work group. It is important that you are seen to act to address the situation by other members of your team. You can try and force compliance through threats and penalties, but for these to work you will probably have to apply them continuously, and you are unlikely to change the root cause of the problem. You can get somebody to do something against their will, but they are likely to do it half-heartedly, or make it a low priority, or do it at a sub-standard level, or find some way to sabotage your efforts. Your goal is to have the person willing to change their behaviour. Try these guidelines to improving performance. • Prior to the meeting, collect behavioural evidence related to the problem. • Set up a meeting in private. • Explain that you have a problem and that you need their help to resolve it. • Set the condition that each person talks without interruption until they have finished their point. • State what you perceive to be the situation. Describe things objectively without making any judgement. • Explain the consequences of the situation on you, other members of the team and on all other stakeholders, including the individual concerned. • Explain why it is important that you have to do something and why you are having this discussion. Explain that the only way to really resolve the situation is with their co-operation. • Ask them how they view the situation. How they rate their performance. How they compare with others. • Ask them what’s causing the situation. Are there things happening that you are unaware of? Are they not happy working here? Discuss what you see as causing the situation. • Ask them how their current behaviour is benefiting them. • Discuss solutions together. Add your own suggestions when no worthwhile suggestions are raised or you want to extend those given. • Agree what action each of you will take to resolve the situation. Both parties should note the same agreements. • Agree a time frame for when you expect performance to be satisfactory. • Agree a date and time to meet again and review the situation. • Discuss the choices that each of you can make in this situation. Ask them to consider the probable consequences if the situation continues for both of you including consequences for non-compliance. • Ask if they feel that you have treated them fairly. Let them know that you believe that they are capable of better and that is what you expect of them. • Tell them that you will keep reviewing the situation with them until it is resolved.

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