Performance Management – Setting expectations and a path to achieve them
You can only achieve success if success is defined. Setting expectations means that you establish necessary outcomes for yourself and your teams. A goal is never reached if a plan is not designed to get us there. You must design how you’re going to achieve objectives by laying out a plan. Good expectations speak to ownership and empowerment. You must take ownership of the objective and approach. Expect the same from your employees through empowerment.
If you approach each day, each task, each unforeseen circumstance with the “it depends on me” attitude, and then act on it, you will be successful. This does not mean that you have to do it all ourselves – quite the contrary. If each member of your team used this approach then you would all own any solution and achievement by doing the very best and very most within your realm of assignment and accountability, and increase this realm as you go.
Performance Management Ingredients
There are three simple ingredients that can assure success in performance management:
1) What to communicate
2) How to communicate
3) What methods and resources to use
What to communicate for performance
You have ample opportunities to communicate with individuals, teams, groups, peers, etc. Effective management of performance is a result, in part, of leaders communicating the right message at the right time.
Goals and Objectives
Clearly communicate goals, objectives, expectations, and the reasons behind them. Everyone needs to know what they’re working
toward on a company, departmental, team, cell, and individual level. If you don’t know, you won’t reach it.
Define the parameters and with what independence you’re able to work. This helps employees define their roles and makes goals personal and achievable. Every person who makes an assignment must know the reason why and communicate that reason to the person who received it. Be prepared to offer the reasons in varying degrees of detail. In some cases, too much detail may make the recipient feel like they are being talked down to – “as if I didn’t know better.” In other cases, not enough detail can leave the employee feeling overwhelmed or confused.
What has been accomplished
Communicate achievements, performance metrics, failures, and benchmarks. Communicating these items motivates and challenges employees in their work. If they know that they accomplished something, most employees will do their best to repeat what they did to get there. If they don’t know what was accomplished (i.e., we haven’t told them), how do they know what their effort is worth? Conversely, when employees know of their failures or shortcomings, they can work together to make a change. Communicating performance metrics, measurements and benchmarks will reiterate what can and needs to be done.
What needs to be accomplished
At this point, you have identified any lag and what ground must be made up. As you do so, be sure what effort is required to achieve the overall goal. Therefore, high standards should be set. If you are on target, it is time to reinforce the effort, behavior, and foresight that put the team in that position, and redefines objectives.
How we get there
You accomplish and fulfill goals, objectives, and expectations in many ways. One way to do it is to use a DRRRIFT approach!
Develop – People’s development is essential. The majority of employees want to have increased responsibility with increased performance results. The development of procedures is also essential to do things a better or more efficient way. Reinforce – if you know what you did right, you can repeat it. Repeat – good habits are hard to break. Achieving a pace and familiarization with tasks leads to consistent efficiency. Repetition is a form of development within a single scope by practice. Repetition is also a good way to teach and remind. Recognize – Know when a milestone is hit and reward it. Milestones could be anniversaries, birthdays, learning objectives, performance objectives, creative solutions, housekeeping, and new responsibilities. Rewarding could be an expression of gratitude, an announcement, a prize, a certificate/certification, additional responsibility/project, promotion, a treat, etc. Improve – when you know where you need to be strengthened, you will act in ways to make the improvements. Focus – if you can keep everybody on the task you won’t have to worry about sidetracks and tangents, and everybody can motivate each other to accomplish the task. This can also help so that you don’t have to redo the work you’ve already done. Train/Instruct – Show somebody how to do it. Give them sound principles and theories to build on. Give them all options to consider and let them choose the best course. Support and assist, along the way while following up.
How to Communicate for Performance
Communication occurs when a message is transmitted to the receiver, the receiver receives it, and acknowledgment is made.
In order to complete the communication cycle, the way you communicate must be the most effective for the situation you’re in.
It is important to remember the potential ego states of the individuals in a communication loop; which are often compared to “Parent, Child, and Adult.”
• The “Parent” is over-controlling, judgmental, commanding, pre-recorded, life-giving, and/or prejudiced.
• The “Child” is carefree, impulsive, emotional, irresponsible, spontaneous, and/or self-centered.
• The adult is emotionless, analytical, mature, logical, objective, and fact-based.
When dealing with difficult or potentially charged communication, you should always remain in the adult ego state, and do your best to
bring the other party there as well.
By Dusty Fenwick, Human Resource Manager, Cabinetry by Karman