Performance killers are a reality, but it is up to an organization’s leadership to be on the watch for such behaviour. In fact, it is essential for managers to be trained to spot and address these destructive behaviours in order to build high-performance teams. And herein lies the difference between teams and departments. In teams you don’t have this behaviour. In departments that are experiencing challenging times and/or people competing to avoid downsizing, this behaviour is rampant.
As someone who has managed teams for close to 20 years, a former colleague reached out to me recently get some advice on some behaviours he was seeing in his own department. With that in mind, I offered him the following description of what I was trained to lookout for as a manager.
Here are three performance killers that managers need to address and end:
1. Cliques or Power Coalitions
2. Enforced Silos
Silos can occur in conjunction with cliques or independent of another action. In these situations, people involved are focused on self-promotion and their careers rather than the overall good of the department and ultimately the team. Individuals involved in these actions will ensure that information is withheld from others. Marginalization of other departmental members usually occurs.
- Who is always finding fault with members of the department?
- Is there a select group to who never gets any criticism?
- Is the same group, who is never criticized, jointly criticizing the same people? Is the messaging eerily similar? Same words? Same timing of complaints?
- Who uses pass aggressive techniques to slide in negative comments?
The only way to stop this destructive behaviour is to set the stage that team members support one another and make each member in the department look good both within the department and outside the department. That is a true sign of team participation. While this is not easy for many mangers, good managers make it a practice to not accept anything less, even from people with whom they have befriended in the reporting structure.