Dear Voice in the Wilderness:
Failing to assess and coach your people regularly is costing you money. It's the difference between what they are delivering and what they could be delivering at their best.
Recognize your people when they achieve and help them identify and improve upon lessons learned.
If this performance leadership, both informal and systemic is absent, people will generally continue doing the job the way they've always done it. If you're hoping for some type of change or improvement, it will at best take much longer than you will want.
Organizations that welcome candid assessments and use them constructively are more likely to attract, retain and maximize higher-performing people than organizations that don't value them. That's not only good karma but also a smart move for your bottom line.
One of the most significant hurdles standing in the way of a performance-leadership culture is history with bad performance-review processes. But a culture of performance leadership is about more than just annual reviews.
A yearly performance review does not maximize your human capital. If that's all you're doing, there's probably more harm than good in it. Instead, consider these best practices:
1. Culture of Truth: It's critical to generate an ongoing, real-time culture of candor in your enterprise. People must be encouraged to be frank and constructive with each other. It's up to leadership to make it a cultural value in your organization to do that. Truly great teams share openly with each other about what's working and not working, in ways intended to make everyone more effective.
2. Regular Assessment and Coaching: Everyone who manages people in your organization should plan to have coaching conversations throughout the year. Employees should not be left to wonder if what they are working on in their own development fits into the goals of the organization.
3. Organizational Feedback: Just as individuals are expected to be developing themselves, the organization needs to invest in self-assessment and development.
You know it's time for a performance-leadership culture if these elements are absent or sporadic in your organization. If you imagine your people operating 10 percent more effectively in the first year, then take a look at the revenue they drive and the expenses they incur and do the math. Make this the priority you know it needs to be and yield the better bottom line that goes with it.
SOURCE: David Peck, Goodstone Group, Palm Springs, California
Workforce Management Online, January 2012 -- Register Now!
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