Abstract: would fear about losing their jobs, too.

Abstract: One year back, I joined a company as a manager. Initially I thought that most of the team members were doing a good job, but later found few team members that were not performing upto the mark. I was worried that if I give pin slip to these employees, or put them on performance improvement notice, it would decrease team morale and others would fear about losing their jobs, too. I also did not want to be mean at such an early stage, because I want my team to like me and accept me as a leader. But I was aware that if I did do not do anything, the team might not meet the target.  What points I should consider? First as a manager, my primary responsibility is towards the company and achieve its performance targets. My primary job is not to make things easy for my team, but for the company. Secondly, my success depends upon the success of my team. I can help my team to achieve their individual and collective targets and feel comfortable about the company. But on the other hand, I cannot do their jobs for them. If a team member cannot perform, I have to find someone else, or I will be putting my performance at risk.How to deal with weak performers? I have to prioritize the team members capable of achieving their goals and ensure everyone performing at the required level. To do this, I have to understand each person’s individual style, personality, capabilities and any gaps that need to be fulfilled to make them successful. I need to separate weak performers from the team. This would send a message to other members that I am serious about team members who are not able to achieve the targets. Employees must understand the fact that they have to work hard and can not get away with underperformance. Therefore not dealing with poor performers can be worsen the team morale and overall team performance. To sought out things, I should quickly find out the underperformers, assuming that they cannot perform better or are not the right fit for the job. In addition, I need to find out the reasons for their poor performance. There could be several reasons – lack of training, motivation and infrastructure they need. They could be unhappy with their bonuses or if they were not promoted.How to make a remedial action plan? I need to make my voice louder and clearer to the team by communicating my expectations about high performance. I need to create a performance based plan with the team that details a set of goals and which team member is contributing to what. The plan details performance based on various factors like: behavior, time to delivery, collaboration with stakeholders and feedback from the customers (internal or external). Based on these parameters in the remedial plan, I need to meet with the under performers one-on-one to find out where is the gap. What they need to meet company expectations? How can  as a manger I contribute? Are they willing to cooperate to follow steps to meet the benchmark? For example, some employees may show interest in a different job inside the same company, as they feel they better fit there as per their skills. Others might want to talk about what they have to do in order to improve.For those team members who are ready to improve, I will share an action plan and timeline to acceptable benchmark. The plan includes: skill training, peer coaching, time management, feedback on micro tasks, or any other supportive steps. And for those who are not willing to improve and cooperate in the work, I have to replace them or talk to human resource  department to shift them to other team where they best fit.In case any team member is unhappy with their bonuses or left with no promotion, instead of annual review, I should run a face to face quarterly review to share employee’s ratings directly and effect on compensation. It is fair and employee has chance to improve and to reap monetary benefits during each part of the year. This saves lot of time and makes the whole process more transparent. Summary: It is very important that I as a manager do this transparently and quickly, divide work into smaller parts and follow up the plan on weekly basis. As a manager one should make sure that the targets given to the underperformers are achievable in a given period of time. Hence accurate benchmarking of the work is very important to successfully bring performance in the team. Appreciate team members on completion of every small goal to show gratitude and respect that you are always there for them.