Tips to improve the performance of your Team You have been the manager of your team for a number of years now and, have sailed your members through the rough and smooth. Your team has also won outstanding performance awards from the higher-ups for displaying exemplary dedication towards its goals. Jovially hailed as the “Royal challengers” who would spring up to do any given task within the time- frame, you feel now that the team’s reputation will not last long because of the performance- slump in the last two projects. Not only was there a slackness in giving the final deliverables but also perpetual failure in meeting milestones, regular attendance etc. As a manager, who is committed to look after the overall well-being and performance-spirit of your team, you want to find out the reasons for the sudden downturn. As managerial skills extend to sustained productivity, a sudden downslide in team performance, calls for some management review. So, here is how you can go about it: Identify the cause 1. Call for a team meeting and get on to the same level as your team members. You will have to step down from being the boss to a compatriot (friend), to help them open up to you. There could be many reasons, which can be classified as: a) Personal issues: These include Personal commitments, family issues, financial pressure etc. In such cases, call for a one-on-one meeting with the team and try to resolve the issue. Convince and persuade, with pep-talks about focusing on long-term goals than the present problems, which are just like passing clouds. b) General dissatisfaction: This could be relating to the stagnating nature of the work, dealing with same client/customer or similar projects, or lack of proper remuneration. The influx of better prospects in the job industry can result to mounting job dissatisfaction at the current workplace. For such issues, you could reason out with your members about retaining job- stability and the advantages of long-term bonding with a particular company. c) Absence of performance-based incentives Any effort, which yields results is worthy or rewards. If the company has cut down on certain benefits and bonuses due to the economy downturn or global financial crises, then it is up to you to take it with your bosses as to not to scrap the incentives altogether. Even if scrapped, there should be financially viable alternatives to recognize the efforts of your team. Just as consistent performance is an assurance for the organization, timely rewards guarantee sustained performance. 2. Break the monotony- Most job-types reach a saturation point at some time or the other. The same approach, similar processing and the final output just delivered in a different package can prove to be arduous after a certain point of time. Your team might deliver, but it would be a lack-luster performance. You can break the monotony of work by approaching it from a different angle, or engaging in brainstorming sessions with quizzes, contests, discussions/debates etc. these creative avenues can be refreshing for the team to think along a new line of thought 3. Apply creative thought Creativity can show different ways of approach – to a problem. As a manager, you should keep yourself abreast of the latest trends and see how it can be applied to the current set-up of work. The new approach to an old problem can prove to be energizing for your team, and keep their performance at level. To ensure sustained performance of your team you need creativity, enthusiasm, intuition and practicality, which come under the extensive scope of managerial skills that are employable, productive and sustainable.