Cindy Novotny

If Someone is Drowning, Throw them a Life Ring


The pressure is on everywhere I look.  The pace of work is increasing with less resources than ever before.  I have never heard more sales professionals and executives use the phrase ‘I have too much of a work load.’  Now I hear it every day.  We are all expected to do more in less time.

So what do you do if you have a person on your team who can’t keep up?  First, figure out right away what is causing the issues.  What is the root cause of their slacking? Is it laziness, not understanding what to do or just that they are not motivated? In many cases, this person might be struggling with a new task or devoting too much time to certain projects because they’re a perfectionist. Don’t make assumptions.

Allocating the right amount of time on projects could be the biggest issue.  If that is the case, you need to start each day with this person and review their tasks for the day and what you expect as far as productivity.  Even if you have an idea of what the root cause might be, ask the person directly.

Try being curious and less punitive.  Help them solve their own problems but guide them along the way.  Be direct and make sure they know what is expected of them.

You can’t solve the problem on your own.  You need to involve them in the brainstorming so they will take ownership of the outcome. 

Don’t let one person pull down the team – keep the energy high, the goals on the wall and the excitement to enjoy the pressure along the way.