freelance project manager

Effective Ways To Deal With Poor Performance From a Project Team Member

Discover some effective methods you can use to deal with the poor performance of a  project team member .

If a member of your project team is not performing to their best, it can create an awkward situation. Not only do you need this team member to start pulling his or her weight, but also if they don’t, they risk the morale of the entire team being brought down. With that in mind, read on to discover some effective methods you can use to deal with a project member who is not performing as well as expected.

Avoid an emotional confrontation

There is only one place to begin, and this by avoiding an emotional confrontation. An argument is not going to help anyone. It won’t benefit you, and it certainly will not benefit the team member who is showing poor performance. You need to remain calm and handle the situation professionally.

Prepare for the conversation and be specific

Before you speak to the team member who is underperforming, you need to prepare for the conversation. Carefully consider what you are going to say. You need to be specific so the person can understand where they are going wrong and what improvements need to be made. You can’t simply be general and say they aren’t performing well at the moment. You need to come armed with facts. Don’t act like you are apportioning blame, though, but make it clear that you have picked up on their low performance levels. As anyone who has attended a project management training course knows, clarity is critical when communicating.

Don’t delay

Another tip for delaying with an under-performing employee is to act quickly. If you do not, you are sending out a message that this behaviour or performance is acceptable. It not only sets a bad precedent for that team member, but for the rest of the team. The longer you leave it, the more harm it does to the project and your organisation.

Be understanding

We are all humans. It could be that there is an external factor affecting performance, and that there is something going on in the person’s personal life. You need to be empathetic towards this. If this person has always performed well before, perhaps there is an underlying reason for the current issue.


Give appropriate training

The final thing you need to do is make sure you give appropriate training if needed. This should include your expectations regarding poor performance – again make these clear and concise. You should then ensure they are given the knowledge and skills that are required to help them get over this bump in the road.

Hopefully, you now feel more prepared for dealing with any team member that is not performing as well as expected. Follow the steps presented above and the conversation should go well and result in the improvement in performance you are aiming for.



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