What to do when your team doesn’t hit your targets
Do you get a little stressed or anxious about having that ‘chat’ with your boss when your team misses its monthly target?
Most Call Centre Managers and Team Leaders get a little stressed or anxious because they’re afraid of coming across as defensive or just making excuses.
Here is a simple 4 Step Process I’ve coached Call Centre Managers and Team Leaders I’ve worked with or mentored over the past 34 years that relieves the anxiety around these chats, and more importantly shows your boss you’re on top of the problems and have an action plan to fix them!
Step 1: Identify What Went Wrong
The first step is to be very honest and clear about why your team didn’t hit its target. And, don’t look for excuses because this only makes you look defensive and unaccountable, or even worst – unaware of what’s going on with your team and that you don’t know how to fix it.
You don’t ever want your boss thinking that, do you?
Identify the real reasons why your team missed out by asking yourself a few questions like:
How close were we from hitting our target?
Was the month such a disaster that your team requires a major overhaul, or if you were only off by a little, think about what you can do to make sure your team hits its targets next time.
It may just involve some specific coaching or training or introducing some games tied to performance to get the team back on track or a combination of all these things.
Then ask yourself: Who fell short, and why?
Identify all the team members who didn’t hit their targets that you need to work with to get back on track. Think about why they fell short – do they need more coaching or training on certain aspects of their call skills and more product knowledge?
What about some of your really good performers… did any of them have an off month?
If so, why? Maybe they’ve got something going on in their life that’s distracting them and all they need is someone to notice and ask them if they need any help.
Step 2: Develop an Action Plan
Once you know who needs help and where they need it, develop an action plan to give them the help they need as quickly as possible.
Make a one-page list of all the things that need to be corrected, and what steps you’ll take to fix them, and when you’ll implement your action plan.
Just remember to create your action plan in a positive way that shows you’re accountable for your team’s performance, aware of what went wrong and how and when you’re going to fix it.
Step 3: Managing the Conversation
When it’s time to chat with your boss, here’s a couple of good ways to start the conversation:
If you don’t meet with your boss each week, be proactive by asking them for a minute to chat about your team’s performance.
And, when you start your chat with them – Thank them for their time and mention you’ve been thinking about why the team didn’t hit their target and give them a copy of the action plan.
This shows you’re proactive and on top of your team’s performance.
Not to mention, it will be easier to remember all the points you wanted to bring up, and… if your conversation gets cut short, at least they have a list of what you feel needs to be corrected and how you intend to do it!
If your boss starts off the meeting mentioning your team’s poor performance – Don’t jump in. Let them finish everything they have to say.
When they’ve finished, hand them a copy of your action plan, and say something like: Those are really good points and I’ll take them onboard.
And then follow with: I have some ideas to make sure we hit our target next time that I’d like to get your thoughts on.
Step 4: Execute Your Plan
Step 4 is pretty simple, just follow through on your action plan and keep your boss in the loop by casually mentioning how things are going and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
I promise, if you follow these 4 steps properly, you’ll relieve the anxiety you feel with these types of discussions, and be seen as a Team Leader who is aware of what’s going on in their team and has a plan to get it back on track hitting its targets and KPIs again!
Recommended further learning:
- Read: 15 Essential Habits of Amazing Contact Centre Team Leaders
- Watch a video: How Amazing Team Leaders Communicate to Build a Deeper Rapport
- Find: Upcoming industry training courses, webinars and conferences for Contact Centre Team Leaders>