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Reinvest in Your Underperformers

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When people on your team are underperforming or disengaged, how should you respond? Instead of reacting angrily or punitively, take ownership and try to better understand your employees’ needs. Of course, not everyone on your team will be able to articulate exactly what they need to feel creative, engaged, or challenged; however, through open and honest conversation, you can draw it out of them. Ask if they’re taking care of themselves. Do they have a mindfulness regimen? How are they feeling about working with the team? How are they feeling about their office or workspace? Then, take action. Depending on what you’re hearing, you might advocate for new resources from senior leadership — a meditation or nap room at the office, gym membership stipends, coaching, or support from a mental-health professional. But remember: all of your noble intentions to support people’s needs will be for naught if they’re in back-to-back meetings, trying to meet unrealistic deadlines, or sending chats or emails at all hours. So, set clear expectations around work and non-work hours, and make sure people have time to take advantage of the benefits they need.

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