We all have felt let down by our subordinates at one time or the other. It is natural. When your team doesn’t perform up to your expectations, feelings of anger and frustration naturally crops up.
It’s time you did something different!
Let us examine a few initiatives that you can adopt to overcome these.
-Be specific with what you expect your team to do: Do not assume that your team is aware of what exactly you expect of them. First, be clear yourself what all you wish your team to achieve, and then lay out the points specifically so there is no ambiguity whatsoever in their minds.
It is also important to assign due weightage to each pointer so they do not end up foregoing paying attention to others. For instance, if you feel frustrated with constant flow of negative customer feedback with your sales teams’ soft skills, it could be a case where all they fear is to achieve sales anyhow for you have hammered it into their minds that high sales is imperative to sustain being in the company.
-Be astute with your feedback: It is basically tough for some of us to hold difficult conversations with team members. If you constantly find yourself skirting such issues it is necessary to work on your skills in giving a constructive feedback to your team. Do not let personal biases or opinions affect this.
-Be sure to be vocal with your appreciation: It is surprising what just a few words of praise can do to a subordinate. If you as a boss never acknowledge, let alone celebrate a team member’s contribution, it is natural for the person to become demotivated or even frustrated after a point. That’s where a good leader shows his apt by lavishing praise publicly – for studies have shown that a behavior is likely to be repeated if it is applauded.
-Be proactive to training needs: In many instances your subordinates might lack the spirit to come up to you and acknowledge that they feel inept at their work owing to a much required training / coaching. Herein you have to take the time out and be proactive in discussing with your subordinates as to what type of help they require.
-Be an analyst of each subordinate’s persona: As to why a particular team member is letting you down could also be possible owing to a mismatch between what he has been assigned to do and his aptitude, skills and personality. You must ensure that each team member is positioned so as the team can benefit from him leveraging his skills to the tasks he is most suited to.
I’m sure if you start inculcating the above practices, you would see the instances where you feel the need to reprimand your subordinates going down, as well as your team morale going up, considerably.