What to Do When You Inherit a Team That Isn’t Working Hard Enough | HBR.org

Paula is a new manager. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that she was handed a leaky bag. The branch she will now manage has some long-standing norms she sees as unproductive and possibly unethical. Staff members routinely spend working hours on personal projects. Employees neglect customers to take extended lunch breaks. In addition, Paula’s predecessor routinely rated everyone a “5” on a five-point scale, but she was struggling to find a single “5” in the entire group.

As the individual and group performance picture became clear to Paula, she began to pine for the simplicity of her life as an individual contributor.


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