A couple years ago, I heard General Colin Powell speak about the man who cleaned his office when he was the U.S. Secretary of State. The man displayed enormous pride and took his job seriously. He wasn’t a janitor, rather he was a man who had a place in history because history was made in » Read More
Tag Archives: performance management
A surprising number of organizations still deliver once-a-year performance appraisals without providing much interim feedback. Have you considered the dangers of this approach?
Is your company inadvertently pushing good people away? Are some of your best performers leaving? If so, “adverse selection” may be at work in your organization. Have you pinpointed all the ways you are driving diversity out of your enterprise?
Often, managers who are good at Relating (asking, listening, coaching, including, and encouraging) shy away from Requiring activities (insisting on excellence, confronting poor or marginal performers, or just telling an employee what is expected or needed). Your job as a manager is to help employees achieve business goals and do outstanding work. To direct their efforts and help them deliver their best work, you need to be equally adept at Relating and Requiring skills. Are you?
“A ‘squeaky wheel’ isn’t the highest priority project. It’s the loudest or most noticed. In many organizations, it gets the grease, while projects with greatest potential to bring about business results get delayed or set aside.” This quote, from the book Everything’s A Project, is playing like a mantra in my thoughts. We focus on squeaky wheels because they are irritating, not because they are important. We want the irritation to go away. But oil isn’t the answer.
As a manager, you are responsible for a wide range of activities. Recruiting. Establishing a positive work environment in your group. Setting expectations. Managing performance. Making decisions. Coaching. Dealing with poor or marginal performers. Each of these responsibilities requires a unique blend of Relating and Requiring skills. Are you using the right combination, in each situation, to get great business results and foster strong relationships?
To conclude this summer’s Harry Potter mania, it seems fitting to study the HR implications of J.K. Rowling’s seven volumes. Her novels explore human nature, communication dynamics, moral dilemmas, and social issues, so why not use them as a source of business inspiration?
Looking for a fast way to improve how you manage people? Evaluate yourself on two sets of skills: the ability to Require of your employees (this includes setting expectations, focusing on goals, insisting on excellence, establishing appropriate controls, confronting performance issues, asserting your views) and the ability to Relate to your employees (which involves asking, listening, including, coaching and encouraging). It’s likely that one of these skill sets feels more natural to you. Are you, by chance, avoiding the skills that feel less natural?
“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.” – Mother Teresa of Calcutta “A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.” – Unknown “Correction does much, but encouragement does more.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (German Playwright, Poet, Novelist and » Read More
One of your employees has a career-limiting habit. As a manager, your job is to hold up a mirror to create awareness of the behavior and its consequences—and to help your employee through the change process. Here’s a conversation framework to improve your chances of securing the desired new behavior.