How to get better performance from your staff

What can you do with employees who are not performing, missing deadlines or missing targets? 

I’ve worked in, and with, companies where the mantra is Monitor and Manage. If that doesn't work, you monitor and manage harder. It's counter-productive and generally undermines confidence and performance in good and poor performers alike.

Conventional wisdom assumes that a manager's job is to manage performance - the closer, the better. That includes the annual appraisal, often a demoralising, box-ticking exercise.

Is there is a different way?

We’ve been working with a client who wanted their employees to know how they are doing at any point in time. They didn't want a traditional appraisal, so they trained their managers and put feedback systems in place. And now they talk about performance all the time

These ‘performance discussions’ are welcomed as mutual conversations rather than top-down assessments. There are no appraisal forms, no bureaucracy. Everything is on a single piece of paper, which the employee (not the manager) uses to record the outcomes of the conversation. Managers are there to ask two questions - “What stops you from doing a great job?” and "How can I help you to change that?"

The focus is on freeing their employees to do what they do to best. 

The challenge is to get managers and employees to work together to deliver high performance and improve processes rather than waste time on bureaucracy to nail down poor-performers.

It’s about describing why we do what we do. The best managers work out how to get great results by setting the context rather than by trying to control. Putting that another way:

‘If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea” (Antoine de Saint-Exupery).

In other words - Leaders, you focus on the vision, the purpose, the big picture, not the task. Tell your teams what you want from them, then leave them to work out how it's best done. 

It goes against conventional management thinking but in times of challenge and uncertainty, the winners are the businesses that best help their employees to deliver their shared purpose.

The question is where to start? Talk to us on 07813-994556.