Are you a overachiever or underperformer? I used to work in a high tech environment where everyone was an overachiever. I constantly was trying to do better and outperform my colleagues. Sometimes I was successful and other times I was not. According to dictionary, underperform is to fail to do as well as expected. In academia, it may be achieving a grade of D or F. Are you an overachiever or underperformer?
As a manager, I had to deal with underperformers all the time. Whether you were promoted or put in charge of a team, everyone inherits some underperformers. You did not hire all of your employees, but you still have to take responsibility for your team. You have to help them be their best and they are not! How do you help people who underperform for various reasons to increase their performance? It can ruin the team’s performance, if you do nothing.
What is the first step? I usually start with a performance review. It can be formal or informal. It is a good way to start the discussion, but keep it positive. How do you turn a negative such as someone’s performance which does not meet standards into something positive? You can outline a plan for a relatively short period such as thirty (30) or ninety (90) days.
You are here to help the person perform better not give up on him or her. In order to develop a workable plan, you need to learn more about why your employee is underperforming. It may be family issues, lack of skills or something else. You want to help the employee succeed. Find out what is preventing your employee from success. Then give him or her they need. If it is something else, help him or her resolve it.
Monitor the plan every week and provide feedback to the employee. Remember, you are just holding him or her accountable. More importantly, you are also helping him or her succeed. If you are monitoring their progress, he or she is more likely to achieve the goals by the deadline. You definitely do not want to just lay out your goals and just expect it will happen.
This is a classic goal setting activity! It can work for an underperforming employee or any other goal. Setting goals helps to clearly identify what you want to accomplish. One of the best models for setting goals is based on SMART criteria. Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound. All you ever need is a goal and a plan, but holding yourself accountable gets better results!
- Specific – Specific goals have a greater chance of success. What, Why, Who, Where and Which. questions will make it specific.
- Measurable – How do you measure your progress? Achieving weekly or monthly objectives will help you stay on track.
- Attainable – Goals have to be realistic and attainable. You may stretch, but not out of reach
- Relevant – Department goals should be aligned with company goals. Goals should have some meaning to the employees.
- Time-bound — You need a due date or time frame to accomplish the goal. It may be a year from now or five years from now. Weekly or monthly tasks help you keep the time line or urgency in the goal.
Goal setting for teams as well as individuals is a great way to keep focus on a particular goal. In many ways, it is like a budget which will help you achieve your financial goals. It is a structure to help you achieve your goals. Where do you see yourself in 5/10/25 years? The choices are numerous, but unachievable if you do not set goals. Interviews sometimes ask the question and you answer it well. Funny, you never give it a thought or bother to set goals to actually achieve your stated goals.
A goal is just a wish without a plan! It starts with goal setting, but you need to take the time to develop an actual plan to make it happen! You r plan just keeps you accountable for your goals. You monitor your progress and adjust your efforts to reach the weekly or monthly objectives. You need to establish these intermediate objectives to help you reach your longer range goals. If you fall short the first week, you can adjust your efforts to make up the shortfall the following week.
Often people are successful at work, in their personal lives or with their personal finances. It is very rare to achieve success in all three areas of your life. Just because it is rare does not mean it is impossible! It is up to you what you achieve or do not achieve! Overachievers are not waiting for you to solve their problems and underperformance should not be tolerated! Not everyone will be a super star, but you can do your best.I often see students in my class who have potential, but do not achieve very much. Is it lack of motivation or skills? You can make changes to achieve your best. Are you an overachiever or underperformer?
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Are you an overachiever or underperformer?