Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Ian Johnson Infinite Group - Improving Staff Performance

Are you helping your staff to give of their best?

“You don’t need a sophisticated appraisal system to ensure people can perform to their maximum potential – just applying some basic principles and putting in place some good-practice activities will go a long way to helping your staff team to give of their best.” says Sarah Armstrong, partner with The Infinite Group.

“There are 4 key building blocks to managing and developing individual performance:

1.      Setting performance expectations

Managers have a responsibility to ensure their team members are absolutely clear what is expected of them – in terms of both what they need to do and how they need to do it.  Businesses often focus on the “what” but pay less attention to key factors regarding behaviours, skills and attitude that can make the difference between a good performer and someone who excels in their job.
Important enablers here include up to date Job Descriptions, clear performance standards and documented, measurable objectives. 

2.      Enabling and developing performance

This is where a skilled and proactive manager who can support their team member to achieve their full performance potential can really make a difference.  Whilst ensuring staff receive appropriate training and development is important, the impact of further support through coaching and mentoring – whether from the manager or from other work colleagues, should not be overlooked – and it doesn’t have to be costly.

3.      Monitoring progress and reviewing fulfillment [of the expectations]

Regular reviews, where manager and staff member have a chance to discuss how well the performance expectations are being met and supported, are essential.  You don’t need to use complex appraisal forms but you should make sure the key points of the conversation and, most importantly, any agreed actions are captured.   Being able to give (and receive!) feedback skillfully is an important aspect of the performance review process – and of course this can happen both ways.  A review discussion also provides the opportunity to revisit objectives to ensure they are still current, realistic and stretching.

4.      Managing consequences

Recognising and rewarding good performance can come in many guises:  Whilst some businesses have a direct link between performance and pay, it is often the simpler acts such as a “thank you” or a public acknowledgment which are easy to forget.  And of course when things are not going so well it is important to have internal procedures in place that can provide a formal framework for getting performance back on track.  Finally, a sound performance management approach can also provide vital information to support other business enabling activities such as talent management and succession planning.”

If you would like to know more about how to build a high performing staff team in your business please contact one of our Infinite Group Partners through our website www.the-infinite-group.com.

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