Providing feedback to a struggling team member

Providing feedback to a struggling team memberYou’re a manager of a team. One person keeps missing deadlines and the quality of their work is poor. You don’t think you can trust them to perform the role.

Unfortunately, sometimes as managers, we come across this situation. The trick is to understand why the person is not performing as required and identify the relevant actions to be taken. What is important is not to judge a person instead to understanding the whole situation.

Below are some points to consider when arranging the feedback meeting:

  • Prepare for the meeting. Know what you want to talk about, the outcome you are looking for. Be prepared to adjust what you are saying and the expected outcome depending on the persons response and reasons. For example, they may have something going on in their personal life that requires a bit of downtime to be able to get things sorted
  • What skills, knowledge would have helped? Where and how can you gain these?
  • Hold it as soon as possible after the problem was noticed. Leaving it too long may result in the evidence being removed, lead to continuous poor performance
  • Ask the person for their perception of how the task was performed. They may agree with you which will make working towards a solution much smoother. If they don’t agree, the factual evidence will be important as will the ability to remain calm
  • Acknowledge what they are saying. Make sure they know they are being listened to and understood
  • Be specific about the feedback you are providing. Keep it factual, not hearsay, with examples to support your findings
  • Provide positive feedback building confidence in the person they can perform their role. Otherwise, the person will become demoralised or angry which creates a bigger situation to resolve
  • Provide an opportunity for the person to look at options for improvement.

Most importantly remember that you are providing feedback on a task that have not been successfully completed, not on the person.

Ask yourself

  • How do you provide feedback to your team? How well do you understand the skills and experience of the person performing the task. What was the outcome from the last time you provided feedback? What learnings can you take from it? What would you do differently next time.

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Thank you for reading this blog – Providing feedback to a struggling team member. If you would like more information or to get in touch, please fill in the contact form.

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