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Addressing Inconsistency in Productivity

It happened twice in the past few weeks.

Two separate client conversations, both with the same theme: frustration around an employee’s lack of consistency in productivity.

So where’s the disconnect when this occurs?

Understanding that every situation will be unique and carry with it its own set of nuances, I’d like to make a few over-arching observations.

1. As the owner and leader of your team, you are 100% responsible. Embrace this. Own this. You must stop rushing to point the finger of blame squarely on the person you asked to join your team for recent errors and/or inconsistencies.

2. Once you have a chance to breathe and seriously think through the point above, it’s time to peel it back and seek the root cause, or causes, of your observations.

3. With the two points above working in tandem, it’s now time for…yes, you guessed it…a conversation.

Let me further explain my position as we consider one possibility for inconsistency in productivity. First, you need to realize that the person you hired needs training and clear expectations in order to deliver the high quality work standard you want achieved. So it starts with you.

I’m a big proponent of being able to provide all, and I mean ALL, the necessary tools, resources and knowledge someone on your team will need to succeed. Candidly, the rest is up to them (skill-set can be learned, attitude is another story altogether, and is probably best reserved for a future discussion). But let’s not lose sight of the key point here. ALL tools and resources to aid in their success are on you. This holds true for those on your team for any length of time. It’s easier to connect the dots in terms of training gaps for someone new to the team, but it is equally imperative to continually afford your people on-going learning opportunities as they develop and grow within your organization.

Review the three points above once again. Now think about the impact that can be achieved if you work them in reverse with each and every person on your team.

1. Sit down for conversations (hint…conversations are two way exchanges)

2. Ask the right questions to determine what they need (hint…asking “do you need anything” is not an example of the right question)

3. Own it! (hint…you are 100% responsible)

Are you observing inconsistency in productivity in any areas of your organization? Consider taking a fresh look…because it just may be time to own it.

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