We know that measuring performance is important – but it must be done properly if it is to have a positive impact on the performance of individual staff members and to foster a sense of team culture…

When you manage performance, it tends to be done looking back – over six months, a year, depending on what the standard is in your organisation.

But the problem with this is that it allows someone to continue making the same mistakes or failing to operate to the best of their ability, because the shortfalls are not picked up until too late along the line.

During that time, the employee may fail to achieve their potential, and become disillusioned. The worst outcome is that they end up getting fired or move on to another job, when they could have been managed far better and achieved success and been far more productive for your company.

Continued Development

What needs to happen, along with your performance reviews, is something that is continual and looks forward – a dialogue that happens between managers and staff and enables your staff members to achieve more.

Companies tend to adopt a three-pronged approach to their performance evaluations:

  • Someone is excelling – they get recognised with rewards and recognitions.
  • Someone is achieving – the focus is on their development.
  • Someone is not living up to expectations – they are offered support or they leave the position/organisation.

In reality, this is too cut and dried and measuring performance really needs to be taken over a broader remit. We need to ask questions about whether work is done within a team or individually, whether the work role has changed and how the employee has developed within their role. It calls for there to be far more consideration and reflection, not just for the individual but within the work team. This also needs an environment where people feel safe to speak their mind, so that honest conversations can be had.

“the goal of a review is not to punish or rebuke, but to nurture development and improve performance”

We also have to remember that the goal of these reviews is not to punish or rebuke, but to nurture development and improve performance – which will be a benefit to both staff and the organisation.

Managers are at the heart of performance management, and in order to help them be most effective, we need to help them not only manage, but also act as coaches, in order to get the best out of their team.

Team Performance

And team is what we should focus on – the company doesn’t stand or fall on the performance of one individual, but on teams that work together or work across disciplines.

Managers need to step outside of the mindset that they need to tell people what to do – instead they need to help to motivate their staff, to set realistic but effective goals. But they can’t do that alone – they need support, probably a combination of technology-based solutions, to help them compile and analyse data successfully, and training in using the correct language and techniques to become ‘coach’ rather than ‘manager’.

And who do coaches concentrate on? Teams! There are few of us nowadays who work in splendid isolation – in fact we all work in teams, whether they are in the office with us, or dotted around the country or even world. Communication takes place over email, conference call, Skype, or other group working platforms such as Slack and Microsoft Teams.

So the focus needs to come to teams – what the team goal is, how they can collaborate to achieve it. Managers need to promote a culture that encourages group reflection, that allows people to air their views, to call other members of the team out on their actions where necessary, to all take responsibility for the team effort.

And it goes further than this, because the organisation becomes a team of teams. All able to collaborate and grow with each other.

 If you would like to discuss this subject in more detail, and find out how we can help you to coach your managers and develop a team mentality, we offer a free 30 minute Skype consultation – drop us an email to hello@springer-alexander.com. Otherwise please continue to browse the website or call us on tel: 07739 898167.

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