If you are leading a team, part of your role is to manage performance. That means, it’s your job to ensure people are not only doing their job, but doing their job well.
Often performance management is talked about when things go wrong, but in reality, managing performance means setting people up for success right from the start. If you want your team to perform, you need to:
1. Set clear expectations.
If your team do not know what is expected of them, it is impossible for them to do their job well. Make sure you have clear job descriptions and KPIs, so that your team know what they’re aiming for.
2. Find out what they need.
Regularly meet with each of your team and discuss what they need to succeed. Do they have all the tools they need to do their job well? Do they need additional training or support? Is there anything you need to be aware of in supporting their success?
3. Give them what they ask for.
If your team are telling you they need ABC to do their job well, then it makes sense to give them what they ask for. It’s much easier to support a person to success, than to manage their performance or behaviour when they start to ‘fail’.
4. Close the gap quickly.
If you recognise that the performance you expect is different to the performance you’re experiencing, do something to close the gap as quickly as possible. Is it a clarity issue or a capability issue? Is the person in the right role or do they simply need some additional support? Are they even aware that they’re not measuring up? If you need to have a courageous conversation, have it early. Performance doesn’t miraculously improve without intervention.
Remember, managing performance is not just about accountability conversations when things go wrong. It’s about doing everything you can to make high performance possible to begin with. If you want a high performing team, make sure you have the right people, in the right roles, with the right support.