I have heard game producers, project managers and other team leaders telling and pondering how “everybody else in the team does a poor job, even when I’ve told them what to do”.
Days and weeks pass and some people just not seem to get anything done.
The first obvious choice might be blaming those people and thinking about monitoring the team members or give more guidelines on what needs done. Some might even use threats or remind these guys as often as possible (using cell phone, emails, instant messaging, and other methods ranging from smoke signals to car horns).
More months pass and nothing might happen – besides that you’ve now buried yourself into a pile of endless reports – and the tension might grow even more.
The other option for monitoring, guidelines and reports could be asking. First ask yourself: “Have I’ve done everything well? Is there absolutely nothing in my actions or behaviour I couldn’t improve?” Sometimes by merely asking yourself what you could do better might help. You might realize that you’ve been silent when the team member has asked for help. Because you were too busy in the past – why should he listen to you in the future?
Before blaming or accusing you might also ask the team member: “I know you are a hard worked and have done a great job in the past, but recently you seem to need much more time to finish your tasks and the quality is below what you usually do. Is there anything I or we both could do to make things better?” Perhaps he has been too busy with handling other tasks or helping his co-workers. Perhaps he would like to take more part in the planning and design phase instead of simply acting like a computer that gets input and prints output. Perhaps he would like to get more responsibility. Perhaps he has just been too busy or lacked motivation and needs a break.
There are lots of reasons that might explain his behaviour. Say clearly what you expect and simply ask how you could improve the situation. It might be all that you need.