4 Issues Paralyzing Your Team’s Performance (and Your Career)

 In High-Performance Teams

Have you ever wondered what’s really holding back your team’s performance?

Going back to the very beginning of our research journey, we initially set out to find the answer to one deceptively simple question: Why aren’t employees more productive?

In turns out there are four major, universal issues plaguing employee performance:

Issue #1: Lack of Efficiency (or Focus)

We discovered that the vast majority of employees are working hard, but unfortunately, they’re working on the wrong things.

They come to work with the best intentions to get a lot done, but end up squandering precious time reacting instead of acting. As a result they have very little to show for all that effort.

The reason most employees aren’t as efficient (or focused) as they could be comes down to two main reasons:

On a tactical level, we discovered that most employees (perhaps like your team members) don’t have a system to help them minimize distractions and maximize their focus on short term, goal-achieving priorities.

On a more strategic level, we discovered that frontline employees’ lack of efficiency (or focus) has to do with organizational misalignment.

In other words, most managers don’t have a repeatable process—or system—in place to help align the organization’s long-term goals with their team member’s’ short-term priorities and behaviors.

If you want to significantly improve your team’s level of efficiency and productivity, figure out a way to…

  • Help your team members minimize distractions and maximize their focus on short-term, goal-achieving Priorities
  • Align your team’s short-term Priorities and behaviors to the organizations long-term goals.

Question: What happens when employees get tired of working so hard, yet only having so little to show for all that effort?

They stop trying so hard, don’t they? Which leads to the second issue paralyzing team member performance…

Issue #2: Lack of Effort (or Work Motivation)

Many of the employees we studied were just going through the motions, doing just enough to get by and fly below the radar. In fact, the anecdotal feedback we heard dozens of times from frontline employees was…

“Sure, I give my boss 100%… about 50% of the time.”

As far as why most employees are not consistently putting forth their best effort, we discovered that it primarily has to do with ONE THING: the managers “approach.” (Link)

If you want to consistently get the most out of your team members and transform your team’s performance, you simply must change your approach.

Stop acting like a manager and start your journey towards becoming a world-class Coach.

Issue #3: Lack of Accountability (or Follow Through)

For the vast majority of employees we studied, the root cause of their lack of accountability has less to do with an employee behavioral issue and more to do with a systems issue.

In other words, in the majority of cases, most employees weren’t being obstinate—refusing to do what their manager asked them to do. That wasn’t the problem.

The crux of the problem—the real problem—was that most managers  didn’t have a consistent process (or system) to close the loop and make sure that their team members follow through and do what they said they were going to do or do what their manager asked them to do.

If you want to ensure that your team members are consistently executing at a high level, you’ve got to have a consistent process—or system—to close the loop and hold them accountable.

Issue #4: Lack of Effectiveness (or Skill Competency)

Ironically, while most managers complain that their team members don’t have the skills they need to consistently perform at a high level, we discovered that the real problem has less to do with an employee skill set issue and more to do with a management behavioral issue.

In other words, one of the main reasons why most frontline employees don’t have the skills they need to succeed is that most frontline managers aren’t giving them much (if any) coaching!

[Insert Claudia’s graphic 44%…] [Insert Quantity / Quality Coaching]

If you to unlock your team’s hidden performance potential and drive MASSIVE PERFORMANCE IMPROVEMENT in a very short period of time…

…you must optimize your team’s level of EFFICIENCY, EFFORT, EFFECTIVENESS, and ACCOUNTABILITY.

Now, if we could eke our incremental improvements in any one of these areas, that would be great, right?

However, what if we could drive massive improvement in all four key areas, simultaneously?

Now THAT would be a game-changer—which is precisely why we asked the next logical question…

Where is the High leverage point?

In other words, what is the quickest, easiest, least time-consuming way to initiate massive improvement in all four key areas, simultaneously?

We discovered that the secret to simultaneously initiating massive performance improvement in all four critical areas was NOT to focus on frontline employees, as the industry has led us to believe.

But rather to focus on the common denominator: managers, especially frontline managers.

[INSERT GRAPHIC]

In short, don’t Coach career development. Coach consistent execution and continuous learning, growth, and improvement by focusing on E x E x E / A.

If you want to drive massive performance improvement in all four critical area simultaneously…

…if you want to systematically improve your team’s performance, you need a consistent process (or system) that will help systematize the desired behavioral change.

Logic dictates that you cannot expect consistent results from an inconsistent process, right?

To put it another way, if you want your team to consistently perform at a high level, you’re going to need to have a consistent process (or system) in place to ensure that your team members are consistently executing—and continuously learning, growing, and improving.

The truth is, most managers are not able to consistently get the most out of their team because…
(a) they have the wrong management approach and
(b) they don’t have a consistent process or system in place to systematically improve their team’s level of…

…EFFICIENCY (or Focus)…
…EFFORT (or Work Motivation)…
…EFFECTIVENESS (or Skill Competency)…
…or ACCOUNTABILITY (or Follow Through).

Now, you may be wondering how have we managed to “crack the code” when so many others in the industry have tried and failed in the past?

In short, by thinking differently.

We finally managed to crack the code by backing up and looking at the problem through a new lens with a fresh perspective, an objective perspective—and a systems perspective.

We finally managed to crack the code by realizing that the way we’ve been conditioned the see the problem is the problem.

We finally managed to crack the code by distilling down thousands of hours of research, decades of knowledge, and years of trial and error—codifying cutting-edge best practices modeled from hundreds of world-class leaders of high-performance teams.

Instead of the taking the traditional piecemeal approach of trying to cobble together a bunch of disparate training programs and tools, and then wonder why it doesn’t get pulled through the workflow on the frontline, we made the strategic decision to integrate all critical components into what we call a new “high-performance management operating system.”

Our new WCC System was specifically designed to systematically improve team performance by helping Coaches ensure that their team members are consistently executing—and continuously learning, growing, and improving.

The WCC System works in any functional area, in any industry, and doesn’t require much (if any) extra time, because all we’re really doing is adding a bit of structure and process to conversations you’re already having with your team members.

However, the best part is that the WCC System will do most of the heavy lifting for you. All you have to do is your part (as the Coach) to help facilitate the process.

In other words, we intentionally designed the WCC System in such a way that it’s self-reinforcing in that…

  • It conditions your team members to get into the habit of minimizing distractions and maximizing focus on short-term, goal-achieving, weekly priorities.
  • It conditions your team members to get into the habit of holding themselves accountable for consistently executing and doing what they said they were going to do and/or doing what you asked them to do.
  • It conditions your team members to get into the habit of evaluating their own performance and looking for areas they can improve next time.
  • It conditions your team members to get into the habit of taking it upon themselves to proactively come to you asking for coaching.

Remember: You cannot have consistent success without consistent improvement. You cannot have consistent improvement without consistent coaching. And you cannot have consistent coaching without a consistent coaching approach and system—and that’s precisely what the WCC is all about.

Recent Posts