In my previous post, I introduced the idea that the more specific and more immediate the performance feedback you provide to someone, the more artistically you’re executing the skill. I used the analogy of directing someone to hang a picture to illustrate the point.
OK, let’s translate this to the workplace and see what it looks like. You are managing someone who just presented to a division leader on a proposal to upgrade the technology. In this scenario, you have the opportunity to provide feedback. The most artful is the most specific and the most immediate: Read more
Providing Feedback is a neglected art in people management. It is neglected because many managers would prefer to avoid providing feedback to their employees. It’s not necessarily the most natural thing to do, and it can be easily avoided. However, if you are a manager, you need to provide performance feedback to your employees. If you aren’t doing it in some capacity, then you are not meeting the minimum bar of being the manager. Time to break the habit of neglecting this art!
Now, how to make your feedback more artful! There are two important dimensions that make providing feedback—whether it’s praise or corrective—more artistic. The feedback that you provide should strive to be both specific and immediate. Read more
The Manager by Design blog advocates for a new field called Management Design. The idea is that the creation of great and effective Managers in organizations should not occur by accident, but by design. Currently, the creation of great managers falls under diverse, mostly organic methods, which create mixed results at best and disasters at worst. This is the latest of a series that explores the existing designs that create managers in organizations. The “design” we have now: Promote the top performer. Read more
In my previous post, I described how managers can use the What-How grid to identify a more complete view of performance of their team members. In the posting, I discussed how this grid aids managers in identifying which areas of performance feedback they should be receiving. In this post, I’ll discuss how you can further use the grid to make better strategic decisions in running your team. Read more
A common mistake for managers is to assess team members by their technical ability or production alone. That is, the one with the most technical ability or volume of output is the primary rating that is taken into account. For example, let’s say you have someone on your team with a unique skill that is very valuable to the team. They can do the skill very well, and having this expertise is highly prized and appreciated. Thank goodness for having this person on the team!
A second common mistake for managers is to assess team members by their ability to work with others on the team. That is, one with the most ability to get along and interact is the primary rating that is taken into account. For example, let’s say you have someone on your team with the unique ability to interact with others. They can do this very well, and having this positive influence is highly prized and appreciated. Thank goodness for having this person on the team! Read more
In my previous post, I explored the reasons behind why so many performance reviews go badly, and the choices that a manager has when there is disagreement of what was documented in the annual performance review. From the employee’s perspective, when there is disagreement, it is a surprise review. None of the choices are good for either the employee or the manager when this happens, so it needs to be avoided.
Here are some tips for managers on how to avoid the tense and toxic review: Read more
Many managers dread the annual performance review, and for good reason. The annual performance review requires the manager to put in writing exactly how they think the employee has done over the course of the year. It’s a lot to cover, and can create some pretty tense and toxic situations if you get it wrong.
By “getting it wrong,” I mean that the employee disagrees with what you documented. The employee who disagrees with what the boss wrote has to either challenge the boss (not always a good scene), or accept something they don’t agree with that has career-level impact.
If an employee steps up and disagrees with your performance evaluation, you, the manager, have many options, none of which are good: Read more
In my previous post, I wondered how many managers were aware of the performance management process, a systematic way to address poorly performing employees. My conclusion: not many. One reason is that performance management is often hidden beneath a larger framework that involves setting goals, doing performance reviews, and the like. Dealing with performance problems gets lost in this.
In doing a Google search for “Performance Management”, I get results for the larger concept of managing performance of a workforce, which aspires holistically to improve how at the organizational level using goals, and career development as a starting point. It is also associated with the “Performance Review” process (which suffices for some organizations as the only venue to “performance manage” their employees).
These aspirations for holistic performance management of an entire workforce are admirable, and is an important thrust of this blog. But if you have a problematic employee, you need to deal with the situation now. If all you see when you look up “performance management” is how it is important to develop employees and establish goals, it’s easy to miss that this is the process you use to correct and remove toxic behaviors on your team. No wonder it’s such a secret!
“Performance Management” is advertised as an organizational solution (“OK everyone, let’s write goals by the end of the month!”), but it is a very practical individual solution. For those management designers out there—consider getting your managers on board with the performance management process by starting with dealing with for low performers first, and then add style points (goals, development) later in developing your performance management process.
So, without further ado, here is the high level “Performance Management” process for those individuals who are causing problems in your org. Read more