As a team leader or a leader in a business, often one of the problems is that we’ve got different level of performers in our teams.
We’ve got poor performers, we’ve got solid contributors, and we’ve got stars.
What happens often is our time gets sucked into managing all the poor performers.
The impact of that is that we don’t achieve our goals.
If you want a way of managing your time effectively so that you don’t get your time sucked in with those poor performers, read on, I’m going to share it with you.
The problem if you’re spending all your time with poor performers is you’re not spending time with the people that matter.
Think about the distribution of performance across your team. On average, you’ve usually got about 20% of people that are poor performers… they’re not meeting expectations.
You’ve got about 40% of people who are solid contributors. Now the interesting thing about the solid contributors is that they could go either way. They could stretch up to be stars, or they could slip back into being poor performers. If you don’t spend time with the solid contributors there’s a risk.
The third group are your stars. Your stars are the people who are your current high performers, again about 20%.
Now, here’s the problem with each of these groups…
The problem with the first group is they suck your time because because you keep having to fix things.
The problem with the second group is that they could go either way and there’s an opportunity to lift their performance so that you turn them into stars, but you’re spending your time down here with the poor performers.
And the problem with the stars is: they want more. They’re already pushing the envelope and they want more from you.
The impact of all of this is that you’re stretched and you’re not spending your time the way you could to get the most from your team.
So here’s the strategy for each group.
The strategy for the poor performers is to ACT FAST. Don’t delay in managing poor performance. There’s three things that you can do. The first one is if there’s a pattern, look at a performance management process: setting clear expectations. The second is have a conversation with them about whether this is the right role for them. So many people are in the wrong jobs and they’re not working to their strengths. And the third thing to do, ultimately is to fire them or for them to leave. The key thing is to act fast. Too many people let poor performance bleed out for too long and it has an impact on the rest of the team.
The second group is the solid contributors, and you’re wanting more of this 40% to stretch up into stars. So your job here is to do two things. One is to coach them on the areas that will turn them into stars and the second is provide feedback to close gaps between where they are and getting towards a star. A lot of your time should be spent coaching and giving feedback to those groups of people.
The strategy with the stars is to stretch. Look at your future business and where your business is going and give them a couple of projects that are about building capacity or capability for the future.
Here’s the summary.
Too often we spend our time with the wrong people in our team. We spend the time with the poor performers and it takes away from building capacity for the future.
For the poor performers I would recommend acting fast. For the solid contributors spend your time on coaching and feedback so you can turn them into stars and for those that are stars, think of those projects that will stretch them so that they can be even better than they are.
I think to change this culture of the way that you operate and the way that you work in your team’s going to take you probably about three months. People will say “Has he been to a training course? He’s acting differently.” It will take them a bit of time for them to get used to it.
Once you’ve started acting differently, once you’ve put this into place, I want you to leave me a comment or contact me and say…
What difference has it made to the performance of my overall group and my ability to reach my goals?
Leave me a comment, I’d be really keen to know.