Team Building Games and Activities for Teams with Performance Issues

Performance is the greatest affecting factor that dictates the growth and profit of an organization. When employees are performing poorly, the usual response of leaders would be to find the quick fix and make an immediate turnaround of the problem. However, there are multiple factors affecting an individual’s performance. It could be about the lack of necessary skills to meet the demands or it could be something about their motivation to do their task.

The purpose of tracking the performance of every individual is to make sure that the company can maximize the resources and workforce that they currently finance. There are times that managers fail to address performance related issue because they are afraid to confront their team especially when they have befriended their team members.

Before approaching the issue, managers should first identify what is the reason that manifested problems related to his team’s performance. This reason will vary from one another, however, knowing this will greatly benefit the team in the long run since you as the manager will be able to tailor your manner of resolving the issue and the approach you do for each of your team members.

Skill and motivation should always come together to make sure that the team will be able to perform and contribute to the organization’s productivity. As a leader, it is your job to identify which of these are lacking from each of your members and tailor your approach and solution based on your assessment.

Regardless if an employee has the best skill set to complete the job but lacks the motivation to do it would always mean that performance will be compromised. The same goes for those that lack the skill yet are motivated enough to do their job.

Incorrect diagnosis of the issue will eventually lead to more performance related issue that’s why, as the leader, you will really need to spend the time to work on these concerns and address it accordingly

Apart from a one on one coaching session, there are multiple ways to address the performance issue of your team. Here are some activities you can do with them to improve their skills and lift their motivation to do their job.

1.    Retrain

The best way to address performance issues is to bridge the gap through continuous training and making sure that your team has extensive product knowledge.  Most of the time, issues related to poor performance are due to lack of product and process information. Running a refresher training about company processes will help the team stay on top of their game. This training should be scheduled on regular basis and will need to contain necessary updates and materials that will improve the status of the team. You can invite other involved departments like the quality team, workforce management, and service delivery team to conduct some of these training sessions to widen the knowledge of your team. Apart from a regular classroom training setup, you can also incorporate extracurricular activities that will make your training session fun and interactive.

2.    Attending Industry Related Workshops

As mentioned above, conducting upskill pieces of training can be done through attending related workshops. There are several industries that offer made to order training and workshop materials to aid your sessions. These workshops may also include visits to museums, local tourist spots, online tutorials, and ecological activities. Your team may also explore newer trends of these workshops like archery tag game, art jamming sessions, candle making activity, or even perfume making workshops. By allowing your team to explore their creativity from these workshops, they will be able to reflect and find an approach that will help them with issues they are having in meeting their targets at work. You may do some brainstorming sessions so that the team will be able to agree on something that they have common interests.

3.    Setting performance goals.

In order for your team to address performance issues, they will need to identify their specific goals and target metrics. The setting of goals should be done on the start of the month to make sure that the team is aligned with the expectations that the organization has for them. These goals should follow the S.M.A.R.T. standards to make sure that the team can realize the execution of these goals.

  • Specific – the goals should have a definite detail and enough to pinpoint the problem. This is where the leader discusses the specific metrics that his member should hit in order to meet their performance targets
  • Measurable – this pertains to the ability of the goal to be tracked via numbers or graphs to identify whether progress is happening or not.
  • Attainable – The goal should be attainable and realistically possible. It’s not wrong to demand exemplary results, however, these goals should be attainable given the time, effort and resources invested for it.
  • Relevant – the goals should be relevant to the organization’s objectives and is something that has of purpose.
  • Timely – The goal should be tied up with enough time to be realized and executed. The amount of available workforce, resources, and skills should be considered when setting a deadline for the goal.

4.    Tie up performance and incentives

One of the best ways to perk up the drive of your team to perform is to tie up performance and incentives. This will stir up the competitive side of each team member and push them to strive in meeting their targets. The incentives given should be aligned with the metrics that they need to attain and should have specific qualifiers so that the team will be able to play around and would be able to find ways to meet the goal. In return, the team’s performance will continuously progress and meet all the targets of the organization.

5.    Create a Performance Improvement Plan

There are instances that performance related issue is specific to some member of the team. Tailoring your approach and individually draft a performance improvement plan for each member will greatly help to address the issue they are having about hitting their target scores. These improvement plans should contain the specific behavior or problem that needs to be corrected and from there, the concrete steps should be discussed to the agent and the plan should have a specific timetable to measure and track if there are any progress or intervention is needed to recalibrate the initial plan. This is a targeted type of approach to make sure that everyone from the team can keep up with the demands and match their pace to meet their respective goals.

6.     A Shrinking Vessel

This activity will improve the adaptability of your team and according to the Harvard Business Review, decision-making relies on the adaptability of an individual. Adaptability is greatly referenced by the diversity of the cognitive part of thoughts which in turn promotes the development of problem-solving skills to arrive at the best possible decision. There will always be innovations on top of another, setbacks and disruptions, however, the team, its people and the organization that can easily adapt to these challenges will eventually come out on top.

Gather the team and prepare a rope and follow these steps to run this exercise.

  • Form the rope into a circle.
  • Split the team into two and have them step on the centre of the circled rope.
  • Steadily shrink the circle over a period at least a minute or two apart.
  • Allow the team to work together and decide on how they can keep everyone inside the circle without hitting the shrinking boundaries of the rope.

7.    Wheel of Wow

The Wheel of Wow is a great activity to liven up your workplace environment. This is a simple game that will attract friendly competition between team members. You can create a makeshift wheel and prepare pieces of paper where you can write the prizes for whoever performs well from the team. If you are in the sales industry, there is a great way to drive sales during the entire shift. The wheel may contain prizes like an extra free hour for lunch break, free coffee from a nearby coffee shop, movie tickets, gift certificates, discount vouchers, raffle entry for a bigger price, or smaller items like free lunch, free food, free bottle of wine or anything feasible in your company. You can be more creative and try other prizes that you know will really entice the team and push them to work hard to meet their goals.

8.    The employee of the Month

One way of giving back to those that continuously delivers stellar performance is to recognize them as the employee of the month. This will keep them doing the job that they like knowing that someone is there who acknowledges their contributions and the effort that he or she put in making sure that he or she delivers what is asked from them and most often exceeds from these expectations just to do his or her job. Having this type of activity will also ignite the feelings of their fellow workers to the same practices as they aim to be recognized as an employee of the month. This will allow the team to progress as well and address performance related issue especially those that are manifested by lack of will to do their tasks

9.    Celebrate Milestones

It is important to make your team feel that they belong to the organization for them to realize that their contribution and performances matter and affects the progress of the whole company in general. Celebrating milestones is one way of showing that you cherish them and to show that you do care as a leader. Milestones may be about their anniversary in work, birthdays, small to larger signs of progress of their tasks, career growths, promotions and anything else that you know, that matters for them. Whenever an employee feels the belongingness to the company, they tend to exert an extra mile for everything they do which greatly benefits their performances and the development of the team.

10. Hotlap Sessions

Hotlap sessions include a frequent and timely manner of updating and tracking the progress of your team. Every performance related issue of the team is relevant to the goals they need to achieve. After your goal setting session, it is important to make a follow up on a regular basis so that any intervention will be done on a real-time basis. This is to make sure that the performance improvement plan will not be left to waste and this to help your team work on their personal goals. Hotlap sessions is a rapid-fire type of coaching and making a touch base in letting them know of their current status and making suggestions on how they can meet their end target.