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How To Tackle an Underperforming Team

Turning around a poorly performing team takes time and it needs patience. It will not be achieved overnight but it is something that is achievable with the right attitude, approach and tools.

Teamwork calls for collective effort on the team’s task and the mutual cooperation of members across all of the team’s areas of responsibility. Building a team is not an easy task and most teams have a few teething problems before they begin to bond and work well together. Initial hiccups are quite normal whilst team members are still trying to understand each other’s work styles and personalities and whilst rapport and trust is building within the team. To help speed up the process an effective team building event should be considered as it will enable team members to work closely together to achieve a common objective but in an informal non-confrontational situation.



Identifying Problems

Sometimes, even after some months, teams seem unable to work well together. The problems within a team and its poor motivation levels can create a roadblock in the performance of the organisation as a whole. Quite often teams are unaware of the larger repercussions of their poor performance and unless the “problem team” is carefully dealt with and put back on track, the organisation’s performance objectives may be compromised.

The team’s problems could be anything from a lack of trust and poor communication to poor role clarity or personality clashes. If the problems are caused by one or more individuals causing friction then it must be tackled early on and them replaced if they are unable to modify their behaviour. If this is not the cause of the problems then an off-site team event with outside facilitation will help identify the factors at work and expose the underlying reasons why the team does not work effectively together.


Ways of Putting the Team Back on Track

Providing strong leadership is important for all teams and a good leader can drive the required changes and stimulate substantial and committed reform in work approaches rather than the alternative of a half-hearted attempt at leadership.

Bringing back the team spirit will put the spark back into the team and instill a sense of pride in the group. A team building event will charge them up to perform better and make a positive statement to emphasize that ‘You can do it’, ‘You have what it takes to deliver better results’ and ‘the company is looking forward to greater contribution from this team in future’.

Providing the right Team Dynamics will emphasize the importance of providing a challenge when an organisation wants to create a high level of motivation towards a task and energize the team effort.


Reaching Your Goal

As part of your strategy you should consider some possible aides to reaching your goal:

  • Introduce informal team exercises and games to act as Ice Breakers and begin to get the communication going. The more the team members open up and interact with each other, the more chances there are of building team cohesion.
  • Try and build “team patriotism” within the team. Stress the importance of the team’s performance in the overall scheme of things. When team members see their role as significant in taking the organisation forward, the common purpose and common goals can work wonders in keeping them on track.
  • Use team activity events to build on team strengths and break away from poor practices of the past, identify the capabilities and strengths of individuals and develop team roles accordingly. By identifying poor practices within the team and seeking solutions you can divert them from previous behavioural tendencies and build a stronger team performance. However you have to highlight the specific problems within the team and use relevant methods to rectify the problems.
  • Use team training sessions to talk to the team about the essence of teamwork, about being a good team player and the expectations of the organisation from the team. This sends out a signal that says “This is how we want you to work, this is our vision for the way to interact and work together as a team.”

Timelines and Itineraries
What will happen throughout the course of your event? When will it happen? How will you move one group of people from one place to another safely and effectively?

Your timeline, or the itinerary, of your event is the framework or foundation to any successful conference, meeting, or party. Take getting married as an example. Weddings generally have a very rigid timeline, and in the planning process it is made clear how this timeline will be communicated to guests throughout the day.

A timeline or itinerary will help with the structure and planning of an event to ensure delegates arrive at the right place, at the right time, they know what is coming up next, venues and rooms are prepared in advance and essential aspects (such as lunch or refreshments) are provided in a timely, undisruptive manner.

Equipment and Suppliers
There is no doubt that, through the course of most events, you will need some external help. This could be in the form of caterers, motivational speakers, entertainers, waiting staff or decorations. It is vital to be conscious of what you need and then move through the process of sourcing them, contacting them for quotes, negotiating, short-listing and finalising contracts.

Even after that your job is by no means finished, as once a supplier has been appointed it is important to manage them, ensuring they arrive on time and fulfil their services to the agreed standard.


Unless you have an endless pot of cash (and congratulations if you do) you’ll be working to a budget as you plan an event. Keeping sight of this budget as you wade through all the planning and preparations can be one of the hardest parts of event management, as it’s easy to lose track, get confused, or even accidentally overspend!

If you’re not au fait with negotiation either, or don’t have the contacts for the suppliers you are looking for, you may find it difficult to get the best price and max out your budget before all bases are covered…

Marketing Your Event
When all the planning is done, or even while you’re still in the planning and organisation stages, you need to market and promote your event. This is done in a variety of ways depending on the event. For example, for a wedding, invitations are sent out to guests that detail the date, time, venue and any other pertinent information. For larger events it may be necessary to use a range of marketing techniques ranging from digital marketing, social media and print advertising to direct mail to do this. However, in both cases, getting the word out about your event will ensure you’re not spending your time and money for nothing.


Risk Assessments
No matter where your event is happening, the scale of it, or who is in attendance, understanding and managing risks is crucial to event management. If we take our wedding example again, you might perhaps ask your guests to RSVP with any dietary requirements or allergies so you can avoid putting them at risk.

On a larger scale, risk assessments consider contingency plans in the case of a wide range of emergency situations and problems to ensure the safety of delegates.

Successful Event Management from KDM Events

As you can imagine, the list of event management elements above are by no means exhaustive. There are a huge number of aspects to consider when it comes to successful event management. With that in mind, it takes a wide range of skills and flexibility to get event management right from organisational skills down to an impeccable eye for detail, creativity, people skills, and financial know-how.

Are looking for support, help and advice in event management? We can help!

As an award-winning event provider, our professional team has the knowledge, experience and skills to support you in planning an exciting event that is entertaining and engaging for guests. No matter the size, scale or scope of your event, our Event Managers will work alongside you to understand your needs. What’s more, we will step in when you need us, and step back when it’s time for you to take all the glory.

For more information and an informal chat about event management, contact us today! We offer event management across the UK and also specialise in virtual events.