Ah, Performance Management…now there’s a term that means many things to many people. It could mean handling an underperforming employee or possibly mentoring/coaching a member of a team. While difficult to define, it is one of the most important things an Agency Owner/Boss/Supervisor can perfect within an organization to boost profitability and reduce turnover. The goal is to first, determine your level of skill and, second, create a plan to develop more productive habits.
Our company administers an employee engagement survey twice a year and one of the areas we always ask for feedback is Performance Management. No matter our prior development in this area, it remains one of the focal points of our improvement. If you don’t have a formal process for collecting feedback, don’t worry, a simple question to co-workers about their preference surrounding conversations regarding their development will do. Any comments you get can help you focus your energy where it will matter most.
As for creating a plan, that takes a little more work. Be sure to customize your approach for each person you manage and don’t forget to include them in the process. One of the worst habits most Managers display is doing most of the talking during a performance discussion. If that describes you, it’s a tell-tale sign you aren’t being effective. Remember to ask lots of questions about how they see their performance and use their own perceptions as part of the dialogue. When possible, connect back to any expectations set for their contributions upon hiring/promotion into the role. If no expectations were set, start there first. And, no matter what you do, always be empathetic to their point of view. It’s easy to forget what it’s like to be in their seat, and empathy goes a long way to an honest dialogue that can really make a difference for the team member, for you, and, most certainly, for the Agency.
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