A Two-Way Win
A robust, on-going Performance Management culture can significantly improve staff morale, productivity, motivation and the overall health of an organisation.
Too often, Performance Management is seen as a vehicle for pointing out problems or for addressing negative issues.
It’s also often seen as a way of managing people out of an organisation if they are perceived as not pulling their weight.
Far more useful is to use Performance Management to encourage and acknowledge, to pre-empt difficulties and to develop skills within a team.
The absolute key to excellent Performance Management is that it’s an every-day part of management, not a once-in-a-while discussion of what isn’t working.
This requires you to get up and talk to your team.
Too often, we’ve seen managers who set tasks and goals and let their people get on with it.
At first glance, that seems a good thing to do – a giant step away from micro-managing.
However, there’s a big difference between letting someone get on with it and checking in to see how they’re doing (checking in, by the way, not checking up!).
Alongside this you need to develop your noticing skills: paying attention to what people are doing particularly well.
It could be an excellent phone call they made handling a difficult customer, or a well-written email or the way they supported a colleague.
These ‘little’ things need to be acknowledged so that team-members feel recognised and valued.
All of this contributes to creating a climate of trust so that when difficulties do arise (and they will, inevitably) feedback isn’t meant or taken as an attack or even a criticism, but rather as a time to review what’s going on and how to make it better.
One simple thing you can do is to schedule reviews on a regular, on-going basis.
Let them become part of the fabric and rhythm of your week. They don’t have to be lengthy – a short touching base with how people are managing.
It’s also a time for your people to feedback to you as well.
Managing can often feel quite isolating and it’s just as rewarding to hear good things about your performance as it is to give it.
So let your people know you wouldn’t be averse to hearing what they’ve noticed that you’ve done well.
That well-worn cliché that most people leave their jobs because of ‘bad’ managers is often very true.
The point here is that if you make Performance Management a two-way process, it becomes a two-way win.
If you have established a culture of support and encouragement, people will repay you with loyalty, creativity and a willingness to go above and beyond.
Jo Ellen Grzyb
Director, Impact Factory
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