8 Real Reasons Why Your Team Is Underperforming

One of the biggest factors in your success as a leader or manager is your ability to get results through teams. While many managers and leaders get this at a conceptual level, they still struggle to get the level of performance from their team. So what are 8 real reasons why your team is underperforming?

Reason 1: They Are Lacking Direction

You are busy, everyone knows that. At the same time people need a clear sense of direction. They need to know what they are expected to achieve and by when. Without clarity of direction teams and individuals on the team drift along aimlessly. Make the time to make the results of the team collectively and individually crystal clear if you want to raise performance levels.

Reason 2: The Right Conditions Have Not Been Created

Many organisations spout about the importance of teams and how much they value teams. They then proceed to design performance review and reward systems that focus solely on what people do individually. As a result it is much more beneficial to compete rather than collaborate.

Reason 3: There Is No Trust

People will only rely on each other if there are high levels of trust. As a leader or manager it is essential that you build trust and keep working on it. Start viewing trust building as never ending work in progress. It takes a long time to establish trust and it is destroyed in minutes.

Reason 4: Dominant Individuals Rule

A team is always going to be made up of people with different personalities and styles. Some will be very outgoing and others will be much more introverted, quiet and reflective. As a leader or manager of the team you need to strike a balance between not losing the enthusiasm of the extroverts and losing the contributions of the quieter more introverted people.

Reason 5: The Outlook Is Bleak

Whenever you get a team tackling a challenge they will inevitably hit some obstacles and problems along the way. How they respond makes a huge difference. If the focus is all on the problems then it is difficult to move forward. Get people focusing on moving beyond the problems and focusing on solutions.

Reason 6: You Are Micro Managing

Every team needs good management and leadership. A core part of this is being willing to delegate and empower others. If you try to micro manage everything it is a recipe for disaster. Make sure you are striking the balance appropriately between getting involved and stepping back.

Reason 7: Creativity Is Being Discouraged

Creativity is about looking at old problems in new ways. Taking creative action involves a certain degree of risk. If you are not willing to let the team weigh up the pros and cons and take balanced risk, you will never encourage creativity. Even worse, people will eventually switch off and stop caring if their efforts and innovations are continuously ignored.

Reason 8: Not Playing To Strengths

Managers and leaders have specific strengths. Individual team members have specific strengths. Unless you know what they are, you will never get people playing to their strengths. Make a point of finding out the strengths of everyone, including you and then get people playing to strengths.

The Bottom Line: Teams don’t perform to their potential by chance. So what adjustments do you need to make to achieve more success?

Goals and Achievements help NHS and other healthcare organisations improve team working. Learn more here