6 team frustrations every small business owner should be confronting

Team performance sorted? Don’t be so sure.

Having a high performing team feels like you’re multiplying your time, your leadership and your output.

Having a poor performing team is a drain: They suck precious time away from growing your business. It causes friction, wastes time and loses money.

Here’s why these frustrations happen – and what you can do to confront them.

1. Lack of Initiative

Are your team waiting for their next instruction? Hesitant to make decisions or work autonomously?

Perhaps they feel the need to ask permission, instruction or advice for minor tasks.

If so, your team lacking initiative is costing you precious time.

2. Diminishing Engagement

It’s also costing you every time you have to play Mr Motivator.

A disengaged team means energy and time are spent motivating people.

If the drive and passion of high performing teams is lacking, those low engagement rates likely equal frazzled leaders.

3. Loss of Focus

If you’re not sure what your team are working on, they’re likely not working on what is most important, or working well together.

Where there’s not joined-up thinking, or where everyone is working independently, the power of a focused team is lost.

4. Low Productivity

Let’s cut to the chase: For most businesses, payroll is the biggest expense.

If you’re not getting the best out of your team, you’re wasting money.

An under performing team is frustrating for everyone – and low productivity and output is the result.

5. Absence of Unity

Every team runs at the speed of trust.

A team that are suspicious of one another – resentful or siloed from other internal teams – slows business down.

A team working against one another, without a clear and united approach, is no team at all.

6. Dwindling Loyalty

As a small business owner, you invest in your people personally.

When your best talent leave, it hurts.

If you’re not clear why your employees should stay with you over your competitors, then they might just have their eye on the door.


If the retention issues, fire-fighting, and hand-holding persist, the cost to your company will be an unnecessary drain on your time, deficient output, and the direct financial cost of both low productivity and poor retention.

Recognise these frustrations in leading your team? You’re not alone.

We equip small business owners across the UK with simple tools to invest in team growth, track performance, and connect employees around a shared purpose.

Ready to lead your team at full potential?

Call or email us to discover how we can help:

info@upward.org.uk 0203 4888 130


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Matty Hawthorne

Founder of Upward Workshops

Hi, welcome to the Upward Blog. If you’re passionate about creativity, leadership and purpose-driven business, you’re in the right place.

On my blog you’ll find insights and ideas around entrepreneurship, purpose-driven business, and creating a life of meaning. 

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