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What keeps you awake at night?

Based on my own research what keeps most managers awake at night are:

  1. Growing sales

  2. Profitability

  3. Staff

  4. Competition

This month I want to bring the spot light onto Performance. Too frequently managers avoid what they see as difficult conversations about performance. And when they do quite often make a hash of it. However not managing performance more frequently results in:

  • Low credibility of the manager

  • A culture of passing the buck

  • Low teamwork

  • Mediocre results

Is there any organisational practice more broken than performance management? Everyone hates it. Very few do it well with the performance management programmes becoming organisation wallpaper. They exist in the background with little or no expectations for impact.

Yet despite its poor popularity, performance management at both an individual and organisational level is critical to business success.

So what are the 4 essentials to transform performance management so that it becomes a key contributor to business success?

1. Link performance management to business strategy

At the end of the day, you and your team will be judged in terms of how successful you have been in achieving your objectives. You need to measure the right things to establish whether you are on or off track.

2. Clarity of Objectives – Critical Success Factors

The critical success factors are the key levers that need to be operating optimally if the desired results are to be achieved. You need to be able to clearly define what those critical success factors are and ensure all department, team and individual’s objectives are aligned on the same page.

3. Evaluate and Measure

Financial measures are the most common in many organisations. It is equally important to have a range of non financial measures which focus on areas like customer satisfaction, productivity and innovation.

4. Involve people

Don't fall into the trap of developing performance measures in isolation. Often those closest to the delivery of the service or making the product have the greatest insights into what is most critical to success. Make sure you use that expertise to get results for the organisation.

At the end of the day, performance management is a practical tool and if done simply can be a real contributor to organisation success.

So what steps do you need to take to gain real benefits from your performance management process?

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