How to Handle Underperformers on a Team You Inherit

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How to handle underperformers in a team you inherit? The manager is responsible for the success of the team. It is not fair to top performers when the manager ignores the underperformers and lets the others pick up the slack. How can the manager help?

Ron Ashkenas suggests two steps in an HBR article.

  1. Create a performance contract with the team. Explain what each member needs to contribute to the target.
  2. Spend 1:1 time with the underperformers. Find out what can be done to help. Performance can be improved through training, coaching, feedback sessions etc. Recrafting a job to leverage a person’s skills and interests often helps people improve their performance. If after all efforts performance does not improve then the manager has to replace the team member with someone who can contribute. Someone who is underperforming in one role may thrive in another role, another team and often with a different manager.

What have you seen effective managers do to deal with underperformers? Share your ideas in the comments. Thanks.
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Source: https://hbr.org/2017/06/how-to-handle-underperformers-on-a-team-you-inherit

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