When Results Miss Expectations

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What do you do when results miss expectations? In other words, your team isn’t hitting their numbers.

As a leader in an operational setting, consistently achieving results is your main objective. You’ve likely felt the pressure when your team isn’t hitting the numbers. And some bosses think that the right answer is to raise their voice, pound the table and tear a strip off their team and hope that they’ll up their game. That usually doesn’t work. It only makes the team feel anything they do isn’t good enough and they begin to give up hope.

The same thing happens when a company is struggling. Instead of inspiring people to dig in deeper and give more. Many people get demotivated and think about leaving.

We know the “kick butt and take names” approach doesn’t work long-term. What should a leader do?

Let Them Know

Share the disappointment and take responsibility as the leader. “Guys, our numbers aren’t where they need to be, and that’s a problem because it means we aren’t meeting our commitments. As your leader, I take full responsibility for that.”

Ask For Input

Then ask for input on ideas that will help the team improve their performance. Watch out for the tendency for team members to turn on each other, and watch that the team doesn’t blame all their problems on other departments.

Remember, you want them to identify things that they can do to improve the results.

Speak to Individuals Privately

Address individuals privately who need to improve their results and avoid calling them out in front of others.

Get Involved

Roll up your sleeves and dig in to help the team improve their results.

Point Out the Gains

Acknowledge every gain so that your team can use it as a foothold to elevate up to another level.

When your team isn't hitting their results, it isn't a great situation. But how you deal with it as a leader will set the bar higher and improve your team's chances of improving results in the future. Share on X

What’s one thing you do when you need to improve your team’s performance?

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