Hard to Motivate Teammates

Strategies to Motivate the Low Performer

Anyone who has worked in a team environment has had the experience of dealing with that teammate who wasn’t performing to the level he or she could. Situations like this put pressure on others to take on additional work and emotional pressures as they struggle to confront the poor performer. So what can you do? Let’s take a brief look at a few tips to manage low-performing teammates.

What are the rules? If there are no rules or if the rules are not known, there is no expectation for accountability. In other words, start by setting clear goals and expectations. Use a SMART goal approach to help you define clear goals.

Point out the light at the end of the tunnel. Even when goals and deadlines are set and clear, team members will feel demotivated if they feel the goals cannot be achieved. Help your team understand how the goal can be achieved in realistic terms. This implies that you should help your team identify the necessary tools and methods they’ll need to use to achieve their goal. Without the right resources, they will simply give up.

Find the challenge and the meaning. Individuals perform better when they feel challenged. Nobody wants to do boring and meaningless tasks. Granted, sometimes completing a task requires doing things most people don’t find interesting or worthwhile. You must find ways to put these tasks into the larger context so even the most menial tasks become part of a larger challenge. Remember, going to a gym and walking on a treadmill can seem pointless, until you consider the reward in the end. Set challenges, and point to the reward.