Managing Performance – In Challenging Times
Managing performance – in challenging times
purpose and goals
Define and communicate your purpose – as a leader and as a business
Set boundary conditions for performance
Identify shifts and new/modified accountabilities and goal teams around these
Focus on team goals more than individual goals
behaviours and outcomes
Build trust and create a safe space
This is a time of great uncertainty for many and at multiple levels. Be open, proactive and transparent in sharing information with your team. Be candid in sharing the bad news and what you can and cannot do about it. Share your concerns and limitations – be authentic. When you do so, people will continue to trust you and share issues, mistakes and disagreements in an open manner. All of this is critical to make progress in these times.
Ask questions that demonstrate that you want to understand and listen to what is not going well – that you are not looking for only good news. Watch how you respond to those who bring not-so-good tidings. This will influence the level of candour, dissent and debate that will be expressed freely in your team.
For many businesses, this is a great window to change and pursue new opportunities. People need to know that they can experiment, speak up, fail and move on. They need to feel they belong and are being included.
Encourage and recognize effort and not just outcomes
Ensure that you are fair and are seen to be so
Some teams may be able to make their incentives as their markets do not have Covid 19 and others may not. Some may be able to work from home as they have support at home and others may not. Bringing in a sense of fairness in how you treat, reward, recognize and manage your people is a huge challenge and there are no easy answers here. What you must not hesitate to do is to make exceptions and treat some teams and people differently – if that is what will make it fair. An environment of unfairness and inequity is a huge inhibitor of performance.
processes and practices
Rationalise or suspend elements of your PMS (Performance Management System)
Decision Making and Governance
Provide oversight for performance across the organisation and the impetus for making and changing decisions by questioning how you are organised at the various levels of leadership. You may not need all members of a Management Committee to make decisions. Some suggestions – allocate management team members to different businesses and functions to provide oversight and support, set guardrails but empower sales, manufacturing and field teams to do what is best for customers, employees and the business. Bring only critical decisions/big risks/breakthrough ideas back to the committees. Do not mix communication and update events with decision-making. It will impede performance (do away with long presentations and updates!!!).