Performance Management: The ‘what’ and the ‘how’

performance managementAre the managers in your organisation focusing all of their time and attention on the ‘what’ part of performance management – the numbers? Do they set performance objectives for producing the right amount of work on time, meeting a deadline, achieving the % increase in sales or the $/£ of savings and so on? Are they managing and monitoring the numbers – and only the numbers?

What about the ‘how’ of performance management – the behaviours? Do the managers in your business believe that they can’t effectively manage how their staff work (e.g. how they manage their time, how they work in a team, their ability to be creative) because these behaviours are subjective and unquantifiable. Do they think that behaviours can’t be measured and subsequently managed?

If they do then they, and you, are not alone! When I was a manager I focused most of my attention on the numbers – the ‘what’ (and so did every other manager I knew). But here’s the thing; if managers are only managing the ‘what’ of the job they are only managing half of the job (if that). Here’s why

Performance Management – The Importance of behaviours

Why manage behaviours?

• Because behaviours are crucial to the success of any organisation, business or team. I guess you know that it’s impossible to be successful without our staff members demonstrating the ability to manage their time, work as a team, develop creative solutions and so on. By managing behaviours managers improve those elements of their staff’s performance are so important to our organisations success

• Because the business owners and managers I coach and train, regularly judge staff on their ‘attributes’ without being able to clearly define those attributes as behaviours. They say things like:

“He’s just not well organised”’ or

“She’s not a team player” or

“He lacks creativity”

Without being able to define what being ‘well organised’, or an ‘effective team player’ or ‘being creative’ looks like in practice how can managers help their staff improve in these areas? How can they acknowledge and reward the staff who do demonstrate these crucial behaviours?

I’m sure you know that behaviours are crucial to business success. What’s often harder to know is how to incorporate behavioural management into our performance management.

But where do managers start?

Performance Management: Managing Behaviours – The Start Point

The start point in managing behaviours is for managers to work on answering the following questions:

a) What do I want from my staff?

b) What does the business / organisation need from my staff?

c) Looking at the answers to a) and b) – what am I currently not getting from my staff?

d) Have I clearly described what I want and need?

I take managers step by step through this exercise in my video ‘Motivating Your Staff with Powerful Performance Objectives’. You can watch session one from the video – including this exercise – for FREE!! Read more and get access HERE

performance objectivesOr take a look at my e-book

2 Responses to Performance Management: The ‘what’ and the ‘how’

  1. Kevin says:

    Hello Joan,These are great steps. But I think a manager’s preofrmance objects need to specifically include frequency of communication with direct reports, review of workflow for each position, regular feedback sessions with direct reports, documentation of interaction with direct reports, and implementation of team-building activities at the very least.The reason this specificity is necessary is because employees most often leave a company because they don’t like their manager’s behavior toward them. This may be due to a lack of recognition, lack of feedback, or simply lack of interaction altogether.This becomes more and more important as Generation Y employees become a larger portion of the workforce. Gen Y employees demand’ more interaction from a manager and more feedback and learning opportunities. If these behaviors are not present between employee and manager, the employee is likely to under-perform and/or leave the company. So, while your listed steps are critical in a general way, managers will perform more effectively and provide more value to the organization when held accountable for specific behaviors as well as goals.Just my experience! Thanks for the post.

  2. joan says:

    Hello Kevin
    Thanks for your comments. I think you are absolutely right about managers having clear, specific performance objectives focused on managing employee performance and I’ve given some examples in another blog of these types of objectives
    I also agree with your comments on Generation Y employees – here’s another blog on that very topic!
    Thanks again for sharing your insights and experience

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