Confusion, misunderstanding, discontent and unsatisfactory internal and external customer service causes employee turnover and a huge drain on profitability. Managing performance requires us to reconcile care for and development of our people, and ensuring that departmental and organisational aims are achieved. Managing performance requires us to strike a balance between compassion and accountability.
Effective managers strive to balance these two areas according to the situations where performance needs managing. This involves judging each different situation on its own merit and deciding a course of action and a management style that is right for the situation. Being able to assess situations and adapt our management response is vital to managing people. If we manage people well, we manage performance well.
It’s important to recognise a fundamental fact: everyone is capable of exceptional effort, productivity, output, and performance. There is actually no such thing as a person who is in themselves a ‘poor performer’. Where people fail to perform in any respect it is generally because of poor management or a defective organisation.
Understand that everyone is potentially a great performer. This is the key to being a great manager of people and performance. Recognising and accepting this principle helps us to focus on helping people to find positive solutions, rather than focusing blame, criticism and accusations – the traditional action of old-style autocratic or incompetent management and organisations.
Getting the best out of people is not rocket science – it’s mostly about helping people to do good work. A big part of what people need from their managers is a clear understanding of what is expected. In other words, explanation and clarification and agreement of performance expectations.
A second part of what people need from their managers is help in meeting these standards and expectations, which logically requires the manager to first find out what help they need, because it is different for everyone, and if you don’t ask, you won’t know. Ask people what help they need.
A huge proportion of performance problems can be traced back simply to a failure to explain and agree on expectations and/or a failure to understand and provide the help that the person needs. These are the responsibilities of the manager, not the employee. Don’t assume everything is understood and perfectly within people’s capabilities. Instead, take time to explain, check and ask until everyone concerned is happy and sure of what needs to be done, why, and how.
Expectations need explanation and agreement for every aspect of the employee’s responsibility and performance – from the most basic standards to the most open-ended authorities.
This is what sets Managers apart from “Do’ers”. Managers must make it possible for employees to do their work effectively and efficiently. When employees know what is expected and are appropriately empowered to do their work, they find job satisfaction. Empowered, Knowledgeable and Satisfied employees create internal and external customer delight and loyalty.
It is time to get your managers, supervisors and leaders ready to increase your organisation’s net profit margin by 30%, without increasing any other costs or manpower. This is well overdue and it is within your grasp!