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How Leaders Can Turn Underperforming Employees into Superstars

7 min read

What Really Determines Your Success In The Leadership Role?

The number of assignments you have handled successfully till now, or the attitude of your co-workers (yes, co-workers! Great leaders don’t just supervise but work with the team) towards the work at hand.

Inspiring your co-workers is as important as developing managerial effectiveness. Your strategic thinking and decision-making abilities should inspire others to take up more challenging assignments, and have a positive impact on themselves, the team and the organization.

Employees may feel detached at work for multiple reasons – Resistance to change, overwhelming workload, nagging boss, unsupportive colleagues, etc. Many business owners make the mistake of immediately re-evaluating the position of underperforming employees with the company. However, the sign of true leadership lies in getting things done even by a team of demotivated employees.

It’s time to analyse what can be done to motivate your employees. Tech innovations in the form of HR management solutions can help corporate leaders transform underperforming employees into superstars. Keka HR management software can be used for assigning daily tasks, tracking performance, managing training requirements and making the review process effective. From acquiring new talent through collaborative hiring to nurturing and managing talent with 360-degree review and constant feedback, Keka software makes every process smooth and efficient. This software provides opportunity even in the middle of underperformance.

All you need is the right HR management solution and these tested strategies to transform underperformers into superstars.

1. Understand The Dynamics Within The Team

Don’t rush to judgement. Understand different factors that are at play and affecting the performance of your team. Start by getting to know each person within your team in terms of their strengths and the opportunities they are eyeing on. Understanding the dynamics within the team is important to know what impacts the performance of employees.

2. Develop The Feeling Of Camaraderie In The Team

As a leader, you need to take proactive steps to develop the bond of trust and keep every team member motivated towards achieving the organizational goal. Be more present in team meetings and take an active part in overcoming performance hurdles of every employee. Express the interest in the progress of every individual and the team by showing up more at the time when they need directions from you.

3. Link Employee Activities To Organizational Strategy & Goals

Employees often feel detached at work when they have no idea how they are adding to the larger organizational strategy. So, why not take a proactive approach and illustrate the impact of individual performance on peers, customers and stakeholders. This can have a positive impact on the way employees address tasks at hand.

Moreover, your employees need support and timely training to explore new ways of working and achieve more. When employees lack the required skills and knowledge to deliver in the changing work environment, they cannot perform as expected.

4. Make Employee Behaviour Align With Organizational Vision

While detailed and timely feedback will keep employees engaged at work, rewards and recognition will help in sustaining the positive behavior. When you recognize performers in the team, you reinforce your expectations to other employees, at the same time. This way, you end up aligning the behavior of your employees with the broader organizational vision.

5. Use Positive Framing

Employees are likely to perceive a new assignment as an unsurmountable task. It’s up to you how you frame that view into a positive one. By being genuine to employees in all the work-related conversation, you can present even a new challenge in a positive light. Positive framing isn’t the denial of current challenges, but it’s a perception that there is more to the outcome than to the present situation. This perspective helps in changing the outlook of underperforming employees. They start seeing opportunities in every assignment at their disposal.

6. Instigate Positive Stress

Not all stress is bad. Positive stress helps employees feel capable and fully engaged at work. Even recent scientific researches affirm this fact that positive stress release adrenaline, which increases the blood flow and promotes action.

As a mentor, you can instigate the positive stress in employees by holding them to higher standards and asking for more. At the same time, you need to provide support to help them get there. As long as the stress is not overwhelming, employees can work with a sense of purpose and meet expectations.

7. Create A Fail-Forward Culture

With every challenge comes the risk of failure. No one would brave a new challenge if it carries with it the threat of punishment upon failure. Instead, focus on imbibing the fail-forward culture in which failures are acceptable. Failures can help employees learn new lessons and foster innovation in ways to achieve desired results.

8. Be Prepared To Make Some Tough Decisions

At the end, you may try all these efforts and still some folks fail to deliver. In those situations, you need to take some tough decisions like terminating consistent underperformers for the good of the team.

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    Meet the author

    Keka Editorial Team

    A bunch of inspired, creative and ambitious youngsters- that’s Keka’s editorial team for you. We have a thirst to learn new subjects and curate diverse pieces for our readers. Our deep understanding and knowledge of Human Resources has enabled us to answer almost every question pertaining to this department. If not seen finding ways to simplify the HR world, they can be found striking conversations with anyone and everyone , petting dogs, obsessing over gadgets, or baking cakes.


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