When you hear the term ‘performance management’ you probably think of underperforming employees and ways to get them up to scratch. While this is certainly an important element of managing performance, team leaders often forget about also nurturing and developing good performers. As a leader, good performance management is about balancing both aspects to get the best from your team.
Here are our top 3 highlights for effective performance management.
1. Quality interactions
How much direct interaction do you have with your team? A variety of regular interactions will maximise employee engagement and keep you closely tuned to team morale. Over the course of each working year there should be a mix of one-on-one meetings, team sessions and performance reviews. Ask your team to prepare in advance and be clear about your expectations.
Use this time to review and celebrate what has been achieved as well as highlighting areas for improvement. You can also forward plan with your team – get them really engaged with some strategic thinking about upcoming projects or busy periods.
As well as increased productivity and a higher level of morale, the other major benefit of this approach is the opportunity to spot minor issues before they become major ones. It’s always better to ‘nip it in the bud’ as they say.
2. Mentoring is better than Dictating
Think of your most inspiring teachers from your time at school – did they just issue directions, or did they ask questions and encourage your creative thinking? You know the old saying, ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’
Achieving the best performance from your team will involve developing long-term relationships based on trust. If your team believe you have their best interests at heart, they will share your vision and commit to achieving your shared goals.
Remember it’s a two way street. You will mentor and help them to develop and grow and they in turn will deliver great results.
3. Be consistent
When you’re dealing with performance issues, structure and consistency is key. No one likes moving goal posts. The values, internal culture and expected results for your team members should be clearly defined (and achievable).
A common pitfall for managers is inconsistent treatment of team members. It’s very easy to favour your star performers but it’s important to offer every person the same respect and attention. Your consistency will lay the foundation for your team’s motivation and receptiveness to constructive critique.