Tuesday, 10 June 2014 10:11

Start now before it’s too late

The executive’s response to the presentation on the computerized performance management process seemed positive. ‘This looks very good’ he said. ‘Now I won’t have to spend so much time on performance appraisals’.

I think he missed the point.

While managers are drowning in e-mail and meetings, performance problems aren’t solving themselves and edgy relationships are descending deeper into backbiting and cat-fighting. We bemoan the country’s low productivity but we’re making it worse.

In most studies of how to motivate and engage people in ways other than cash, three themes recur constantly. These are: praise from immediate managers, leadership attention, in one-on-one conversations for example, and a chance to lead projects or task forces.

These non-financial motivators are critical in helping people feel that their companies value them, take their well-being seriously, and offer opportunities for career growth. Using them requires management and leadership attention.

By the time our current all-consuming focus on financial targets, budgeting, cost cutting, and doing it all faster, catches up with us, the damage will have been done. We need to pay attention now to developing people, and sorting out toxic patterns of poor performance and bad behaviour.

Acknowledge and motivate people with praise: it takes a moment. Eliminate problems of poor performance with immediate, constructive feedback. Improve the focus and productivity of your team overnight by holding people to account.

Start now before it’s too late.

Additional Info

  • Topic: Managing Performance

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