About “Low Performer”

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I wanted to deal with the topic of team performance today. If you have a team of different people, there is usually a distribution: from “geniuses” to “normal” to real brakes. You can’t escape the normal distribution here. The decisive factor, however, is the overall result, often not the result of the individual, to which everyone contributes.

Low Performer (?)

What exactly is a “low performer”? For me, these are project members who do not deliver frequently expected results. This is often coupled with recriminations and reasons for not delivering. What is important here is that I am not necessarily talking about “shortfalls” in the legal sense, but about people who disturb the team. I personally find the caste of those who refuse to accept change particularly difficult (“We have never done this before”, “Actually, we have to do it first…”).

What to do?

For me, the decisive factor is always the team, not the manager in the first place (that one, too, but that one further on): Is the team prepared to support the work of the person in question or are there already many refuseniks here? If the team stands behind the member, the manager is challenged to relieve and support the person.

If the team does not stand behind the person, which is more often the case, it becomes more difficult: At this moment the leader is also in demand. A way must be found for this person to establish himself or herself. Here it is helpful to look at the overall result, which can only be achieved if everyone is present. Here you can also make it clear that not everyone has an equal share in the result, and that this is not bad either. Team building must be driven forward significantly.

The team must be sensitized to the extent that all team members are accepted, regardless of their individual performance. Especially these low performers need a lot of support and even praise (perhaps proportionally more than they deserve).

However, there will be an end to this at some point. A central question: When is this point reached? Usually much later than most people are able to believe. Nevertheless, I don’t want to rule out the possibility that in a few individual cases the point of separation will be reached.