How To Strengthen The Weak Link In Your Team
The saying, ‘a chain is only as strong as its weakest link,’ may seem like a cliché, but when it comes to your business team, it has never been more true!
Although each member of your team may have their fair share of weaknesses, there will always be that one member that lags behind the rest. And whether their ‘lagging’ is intentional or not, it has the potential to slow everyone else down.
Weeding out the weak link and removing them may seem tempting, but as a team leader, this should never be your first resort. The benefits of staff retention far outweigh the costs of recruiting; so it’s a good idea to try help strengthen the weak link in your team before you consider any alternatives.
The challenge, however, lies in the way you deal with the problematic individual – attempting to help your employee without understanding why they are underperforming, is a sure way to create conflict at work.
Define Your Expectations With Key Performance Indicators
One of the reasons individuals underperform is due to poorly defined expectations. When an employee does not have a clear idea of which targets they should be aiming towards, how can they be expected to meet them?
In order to give your employee an idea of whether or not they are performing up to standard, it is a necessary to set measurable targets, which can be discussed and reviewed on a regular basis.
A common way to do this, is through the use of Key Performance Indicators (KPI), which are usually comprised of a set of quantifiable goals that are tailored to each employee’s unique role. Employers will usually get an employee to assign a score to each goal, as an indication of how well they think they are performing. This score is matched with a separate score, given by the employer, for the same set of goals.
This exercise can help strengthen the weak link in your team by showing them where their strengths lie, and which areas they can improve in.
Show Them The Bigger Picture
When employees feel like their job is unimportant, and their actions are inconsequential, it’s likely they won’t have much motivation to perform as they should. That’s why it’s important to help show them why their role is vital to your company’s operations.
You can do this by sharing your vision for the company with them, and pointing out how their role can play a part in achieving this vision. This will help your weak link to take ownership of their responsibilities and give them a greater sense of purpose and belonging.
Focus On Your Their Strengths
According to New York Times best-selling author and motivational speaker, Marcus Buckingham, an individual will grow most in their strengths rather than their weaknesses.
By using this school of thought, you can completely change your approach towards the weak link. Instead of honing in on all their faults, you should rather try help them to discover their strengths and use these to your company’s benefit.
As you can see from the above mentioned strategies, in order to strengthen the weak link in your team, you need to be actively involved in guiding them in the right direction. Your support could be just what’s needed to help initiate a positive change, so don’t underestimate the power you have as a leader!