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How Do We Get Beyond Adequate Performance?

January 17, 2012
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Dear Cart Before the Horse:

When people fail to live up to performance standards, in most cases it is because the performance standards were not clearly defined by the manager. To arrive at performance standards, you must address why the job exists in the first place.

What are the key accountabilities for this job? Rank each one based on its priority of importance. The next step: Decide how much time in a normal workweek you expect an employee to devote to each area of accountability.

The following questions will help define this:

• What specific knowledge must a person possess to meet the minimum performance requirements?

• Which specific soft skills should a person in this position demonstrate to perform at minimum standards?

• What are the specific hard skills that the employee needs to perform in his position at minimum standards?

• How is this particular key accountability going to intrinsically motivate the person?

• What is the appropriate behavior required to carry out the key accountability?

Once you understand this position, share this information with all employees. Assessing people who are superior performers in each of these areas enables you to identify any skills or knowledge gaps, and to plan training and development accordingly. That's the best way to help people move beyond merely meeting performance goals to exceeding them.

SOURCE: Bill Bonnstetter, Target Training International, Scottsdale, Arizona

LEARN MORE: Driving higher performance also means making sure managers are equipped to clarify expectations and provide support. It touches on the area of coaching for performance, which is closely aligned with employee development.

The information contained in this article is intended to provide useful information on the topic covered, but should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Also remember that state laws may differ from the federal law.

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