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Values can make or break your team, business or organisation.

How aligned are the values in your team/business or organisation?

Values, Team Values, Performance, Teamwork,

Often when we are managing teams, work groups, businesses or organisations we notice that things are not happening as we want them to.  The first thing that we should do is check that our expectations are realistic, sometimes the bar can be set so high that it is unattainable.  The second thing people do is to ensure that their instructions or guidance is clear and understood.  Where people get stuck is when the expectations are realistic AND the instructions and guidance are clear/understood.  What else could be causing the issues?  Aside from individual performance issues that I have covered within a separate blog there is one area that people often overlook.  That area is people’s values.

What have peoples values got to do with it you ask?  Simply put, our values are at the core of our behaviour and if the values of your people are out of line with yours, then dysfunctional performance can arise.  This can take the form of:

  • Performance spikes and troughs.
  • Surprise results and feedback.
  • Disagreement between colleagues.
  • Paralysis of the team or business
  • Poor sickness records
  • Dissatisfied customers or clients.
  • Under performance.

What can be done?

First of all, it is necessary to identify if there are any differences in business/team/corporate values between you and your people.  The Corporate Values Audit can help you with this.

The instructions are simple:

  1. Ask yourself what is important to you about the team, business or company?  This will give you your values.  If you have written more than five, just pick the top five that you feel are the most important to you.
  2. Ask one or two others within the team, business or company that same question and write down their top five.
  3. Compare and contrast.

When you see where the differences are, it is then necessary to investigate how these differences have arisen.  Alternatively, get in touch with us and we can deliver a Team/Business/Organisational Values Alignment Program.  This will identify not only how the differences have arisen but working with individuals we will help match their values to yours.  As well as this we will also make recommendations on how to ensure the values do not diverge in future.

When we have worked with you, you can rest assured that dysfunctional performance as a result of misaligned values will be a thing of the past.

Contact us today to ensure success for your team, business or organisation!

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The power of influence.

The power of influence.

Believe it or not there are numerous methods that we can employ to increase the chance that we get the response we want from people.  It is not magic and it is not jedi mind tricks, but if used properly they can help you get the answer you want when dealing with people.  The fantastic thing about these influencing factors is that they can be applied in all areas of your life, work, home and play!

The video above provides an insight into some of the reasons that we say yes.

Reciprocity.

Human beings have a hardwired nature to repay acts of kindness.  This stems from the fact that in times gone by we all relied upon each other for survival.  Early humans cooperated a lot more than we do these days and it was a case of I do “this” for you and you do “that” for me, together we will have “this” and “that”.  The process of one good turn deserving another ensured that society flourished and eventually turned into bartering and nowadays, commerce.  Instead of returning the favour we now use currency to reciprocate.  When dealing with people, you can make sure that you use this hardwired nature to your advantage by offering a free service or sample.  A free sample or a seemingly random act of kindness can trigger this natural reaction to return the favour.

Scarcity.

People will, believe it or not, pay more or buy more of products or services that are limited.  I expect that we have all seen a disaster movie where people are panic buying water and other life essential products.  Whilst the chances of an end of the world scenario are slim and pure fantasy, the psychology is very very real.  If you remember a few years back there was a potential for fuel tanker drivers to go on strike.  Then, there were queues of cars all over the areas likely to be most effected.   People want what is in scarce supply, this is tapping into our basic survival instincts.

When using this method, put a limited offer on the table, ensure it is exclusive and people will say yes!

Make sure that if you want to deploy this strategy that you limit what is available otherwise people will see straight through your efforts.

Authority.

This influence is an interesting one as it has a lot of science and research behind it.  Basically the more authority that a person holds (or appears to hold) the more likely y0u are to comply with a request.  One of the most important pieces of work regarding the influence of authority would be the experiments of Stanley Milgram.  His famous experiment tested just how far people will go when responding to instruction from authority.  In summary he showed that people would inflict lethal levels of electric shock on others because an authority figure was saying it was ok to do so.  The reality was that the individuals being exposed to the shocks were in fact acting and no shocks were being administered.  What it proved was that authority was an extremely powerful influence.  To read more on Stanley Milgram click here.

What we can take from this experiment is that the more authority that you appear to hold the more likely that someone is going to do as you ask or indeed recommend.  I am sure that if you were going to buy something you would purchase it from a reputable, upstanding, experienced company/individual as they hold more authority.

Consistency

Humans have a desire for consistency, we naturally seek stability and security.   However it is not only consistency we seek for ourselves, but we seek to appear consistent to others.  This stems from the fact that society views people that are consistent as stable, honest and trustworthy.  We all want to be perceived as such and so we adopt a consistent approach to our actions.  In fact, this desire to be seen in a good light can be a large influence on our decisions and actions.

As the video clip shows, when we make a small commitment to a cause then we are actually setting out our stall to support that cause.  When further requests for assistance follow it is in our own good to comply (even if we end up with a billboard in our gardens).  When we commit to something we don’t want to be seen as wrong and our brains even try and find ways to justify and support our choices.  Eventually even unwise decisions can grow their own legs and become a wise decision in our own mind.

Getting someone to agree to a small action will automatically mean that you have an in road for that next request (or sale).

Liking

This influence is quite obvious when you consider it.  When we like someone, we will be more likely to say yes to them.  Conversely, those we dislike we are more likely to say no to.  This principle is crystallised in the saying “people buy from people”.   For example, if you have a choice of buying something from someone you like you are going to choose them over another.

The interesting thing here is that “liking” comes in two parts, firstly there is the personality.  Secondly, attractiveness has a bearing on our likelihood to comply with the request of an individual.  Studies have even shown that politicians rated as more attractive get more votes!  This article from the Telegraph explains more.  Part of the reasoning could be due to the fact that our hardwiring is to seek out healthy people as they provide us with the best chance for survival.

To increase your chances of being successful when seeking compliance or sale, make sure you are likable and good looking.   One of these two are easier to achieve than the other.  This makes me think I really need to lose weight as that can even influence people when making decisions.

Consensus

Do not underestimate the power of social influences!  I remember being at school and I remember that football was very big with the group of kids that I hung about with.  All of them supported Liverpool, and as I really wanted to be accepted by this group I became a big fan of Liverpool too.  This was not only about me wanting to fit in but was also because of the fact that “how could so many other people be wrong?” and so I supported the same team.

This influence is also seen a lot on the internet in the form of reviews.  When booking a holiday, how many of us have read the reviews on the internet?  I know I have.  Similarly, when you look at websites for companies you will see pages of testimonies and comments from previous customers.  This is all geared toward convincing us that everybody else uses or buys this and as such we should!

 Conclusion

Be warned; just as you can deploy these tactics to assist you, others are using them for their advantage too.  The next time you are offered a free sample or are asked for a small committment then think twice, are you being influenced?

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New year, wipe the slate clean?

Happy new year to all and to all a happy new year!

Traditionally this time of year is dedicated to fresh starts and clearing of the slate, however speaking from a business perspective this is quite possibly the worst decision you could ever make.

In business it is vital to ensure that you have the upper hand, the edge or competitive advantage over your competitors.  To help you do this, would you not just love a crystal ball?  Sadly, I cannot provide that crystal ball but what I can do is give you the benefit of my years of experience leading a variety of teams in a large public sector organisation.

My advice to you is not to throw away the past 12 months, but to examine what went right, what went wrong and most importantly, understand why things happened like that.   Spend a little time making notes on what major events happened and what you did along with the outcome and what you would do differently.

Just like there is no such thing as a new idea, I would argue that once you have been running your business for a couple of years then it will be just as valid to say that there is no such thing as a new issue to deal with.  This is why you do not throw out the past.  It often contains the answers of the future.  As well as reviewing the past 12 months, best practice is to repeat the review process at least monthly and if you can, capture the issues and results live as they happen (this will ensure you do not forget things).

If you follow this advice you have just created an organisational memory.   This in all likelyhood will save you time, money and stress!

 

 

 

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More With Less? (Part One)

Times are hard, especially if you are running a public sector organisation, including the NHS and education despite the ring fencing.  When the chips are down and the money is running short there is the usual mantra, more with less.  With George Osborne’s second round of spending cuts it is getting harder and harder to imagine delivering any more with any less.  It is a fact of current life that money is going to be reduced from budgets and organisations are going to have to find leaner ways of achieving desired outcomes.

I would suggest, that it is, in fact, impossible to do more with less.  I believe that all you can honestly achieve with less is, quite simply less.  However I also believe that it is still possible to deliver with less.

Fewer and fewer pieces on the board!

Fewer and fewer pieces on the board!

Managers need to become leaders

There are a lot of performance improvements that can be made and managers need to change too.

Traditionally the public sector has produced very good managers.  These individuals are very competent at keeping the status quo, staffing and resourcing, problem solving, scheduling and problem solving.  These skills and abilities have been developed over many years of attending management courses and watching countless other managers perform their role adequately.

However, now is a time for leadership, change is required not maintenance of the status quo.

So what makes a good leader?  Well, my view is that a good leader is someone that has a clear vision of where the organisation, business or team needs to be; but more importantly they know how they will inspire their people into following them in this vision.  Below are a few traits that I consider essential in a good leader:

  • A good leader is a relentless communicator, but not only letting people know what is needs to happen but perhaps more importantly they listen to what is actually going on.
  • Empower individuals to do their jobs and make meaningful contributions to change.
  • Removes barriers that hinder their people from doing their job.
  • Takes appopriate risks.
  • Reflects upon their behaviours and actions along with demonstrating humility.

Improve individual and team performance

With a greater emphasis on working smarter, there is a need to improve individual and team performance.  One way that this can be achieved is through the use of Belbin Team Roles.  Through maximising individual strengths and learning how to manage weaknesses individuals are able to contribute in a more meaningful manner.  By placing the correct individuals with the apporopriate balance of behaviours in a team, you can increase productivity.

An individual who knows and understands how best they can contribute to performance is able to identify opportunities to enhance results for your business.  Similarly, a team that has the correct balance of behaviours within it’s members is more likely to be able to deliver exemplary results.

With managers becoming leaders and individuals and teams becoming more self aware, delivering high performance levels is still a realistic expectation.

Perfromance Works, can deliver the necessary training to enable your managers to become leaders, the coaching to ensure your individuals become high performers and teams to succeed time and time again.

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Decision making model for managers and supervisors.

Decision making model

The problem of managers and supervisors failing to make a decision, or constantly referring options upwards when they clearly have the authority to make the decision themselves is not new, and it is certainly not uncommon.  Managers and supervision that won’t make decisions are a prime cause of paralysis within a company, business or organisation.  This paralysis leads to wasted time, effort, energy and money.  The company’s business is stalled and as a result progress is curtailed.  But what is the cause of this inability to make a decision or need to run a decision past their boss?

I firmly believe that in the majority of cases the cause is a simple and almost understandable one.  That cause is simply a fear of the outcome if it all goes wrong!  No one likes to go to the boss’ office to get a grilling as to what happened when something goes wrong as a result of their decision.  It is our built in survival mechanism that drives people to avoid this negative experience. and the only guaranteed to avoid this is to avoid making the decision or to allow others to make the decision for them.

So what can we do as enlightened leaders?

I would suggest that the first action would be to review our selves.  Do we really make individuals feel so bad when we are trying to identify the reasons things went wrong?  Perhaps we do.  Perhaps we don’t.  But it is essential that we check that we are not contributing to the issue we seek to resolve.  Do we need to speak less accusingly to individuals as we debrief the past to improve the future?  Do we remind individuals of all the good work they normally do for us or do we just beat them up over the one bad decision that they made on this one occasion? This self reflection will ensure that we are being fair with our people.  If we are fair with people they will feel less hard done by and thus reduce the fear of having to face the boss!

Secondly I would encourage the use of a decision making model as shown below:

Decision making model

The above model is a simple but useful tool to give a manager or supervisor that is unwilling to make decisions.  If you follow the model from the top:

You have a situation that requires a decision, firstly review what policy and procedure says, then review what (relevant) legislation requires, take into account the organisation’s risk appetite (this is how much risk does the organisation call acceptable) and at the heart of your choice should be the values of the organisation.

Once you have filtered your options through the model you pick the best option and make a decision.

Here is where you as the boss have to trust your staff, because when you give them this model, when they apply it AND evidence their decision rationale then you must tell them that you will support them no matter the outcome.  This is the difficult part as there may well be times that the decision results in a negative outcome.  You cannot now apportion blame to a decision made with sound evidence of having followed the model.  Supporting someone that has made a decision that has cost thousands of pounds may be contrary to your intuition but it is essential that you do not break the contract you have made with your managers or supervisors.

The benefits however of this concept are numerous and will over all increase the speed at which your organisation processes change and deals with potential issues.  The organisation will lose the lag that can stifle progress and innovation, it will also gain a culture of empowerment for all of its people and gain engagement of those that feel disenfranchised.

To deal with the manager and supervisor that will not or is reluctant to make decisions is easy, give them a model on which they can underpin their decisions with.  Letting go of the need to find someone or something to blame when things to wrong is not so easy, but for an organisation to succeed the senior managers and leaders need to do this.

 

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Deal with underperformance.

Over the years I was a supervisor and manager in a large public sector organisation I observed ( and may well have been guilty of ), failure to deal with underperformance.  However, I can also confidently state that I have successfully dealt with individuals that have not delivered or failed to comply with direction.

Underperformance can mean many things, tardiness, untidy appearance, failure to meet deadlines, delivering poor quality service, the list of potential issues is vast and I cannot cover them all in this blog.  Needless to say, I know you get the idea.

What happens if you fail to deal with underperformance?

There are many reasons that you must deal with people that are not performing, below are two very pertinent examples:

  • Firstly, it undermines your authority as a manager in the eyes of your peers and your own boss.  “How can we expect X to manage a department or team when they cannot manage individual Y?”  The fact that you are having difficulty in managing an individual’s performance when everything else is running smoothly in your area of business can provide a distorted view of your ability as a manager.  You may know it is just one individual that you are having difficulty with, but this may not be the view of others!
  • Secondly, the other members of the team that work with the underperformer will lose faith in you whilst resentment builds against the individual that is underperforming.  This resentment is caused by the fact that those that are working hard and are meeting or exceeding expectations can see the individual doing less work, performing less well, or just plain being lazy, is getting away with it.

As can bee seen, if you do not deal with underperformance it can not only undermine your authority in both the eyes of your peers or your supervisor, but it can lead to loss of faith in you by your people.  The latter can also lead to others feeling that they can underperform, after all why should they work hard when others fail to do so?  In essence, if you do not deal with underperformance, can spread like an infection.

How to deal with underperformance

In my experience, the best way to deal with underperformance is by being both firm and fair.  It is essential that you are firm with the issue at hand as this will send a message to the individual concerned as well as those around you.  It is also critical for various reasons that you ensure you are fair.  Following internal organisational policy and complying with relevant legislation ensure no legal or paralegal challenges can be made to your actions but it is equally important to be fair for the sake of the future working relationship!

I have dealt with individuals both formally and informally for work related performance issues and on all occasions have maintained a professional but cordial working relationship after the matter has been dealt with.

This successful management of underperformance issues is as a result of ensuring the individual is dealt with fairly.  I cannot stress this enough.  If you deal with underperformance in a fair manner then you are less likely to create further problems for yourself and organisation.

This topic also gives me the opportunity to reintroduce values based leadership, as how you deal with the matter at hand may have a wealth of options associated with it.  Using the most appropriate method of dealing with the matter will involve making a decision.  You can read further about the values based leadership and associated decision making model here.

Decision Making

Sometimes it can be useful to discuss the issue and your proposed outcome with any staff association that you may be dealing with.  This, of course, must be done confidentially and anonymously.  The benefits of this discussion are that you can be forearmed with any views that the staff association have on the subject and this may assist you in deciding which course of action to take.

Once you have selected the method with which you will deal with the issue you must then bite the bullet and speak with the individual concerned.  I would never ambush an individual that you are managing for underperformance, this is unfair and immediately could lead to the individual becoming very defensive and entrenched.  Be open! Let the person know why they are coming to see you and even let them know it is OK to bring a friend if they want to.  Remember, if you have already consulted the staff association you will know their position.

When you meet up, I have always found it beneficial to follow a standard format after introductions (where needed):

  1. Explain the area of underperformance and set the context (is it repeat behaviour)
  2. Explain why it is unacceptable.
  3. Provide the evidence.
  4. Investigate causes (after all there may be welfare issues that you were unaware of)
  5. Propose course of action (which may be modified as information at 4 may lead you to change your view)
  6. Set review date.

The course of action could be selected from internal disciplinary procedures or may be of an informal nature, but the critical aspect of the decision you take is that you do the right thing based on your organisation’s values.

Sometimes you are dealing with repeat offenders and on other occasions you are dealing with people that have perhaps failed to meet standards for the first time.  For this latter group it is especially important that you set the context of the matter.  It is vital that the individual knows what they have done is not acceptable but it is also equally important that they know that you appreciate all of the times that they have met or even exceeded expectations.  It is this acknowledgement that allows people to accept that they have had to meet with you.  The individual will know that whilst normally they perform extremely well, on this occasion they have failed to meet the required standards.  This is a key factor in maintaining a good working relationship.

A common result of dealing with underperformance is the development plan and I shall discuss these in depth in a future blog post.  But for now, remember that the development plan has to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timed.  It is also important to remember that you and the organisation have a responsibility to help the individual succeed and not sabotage them.  Any development plan should also include how you are going to help the individual succeed.  Herriot Watt University have a useful pdf file explaining how to write a SMART action plan.  This can be viewed HERE.

If you follow the above as a suggested model for dealing with underperformance then you should be able to improve performance, increase confidence and maintain good working relationships with all.

Performance Works can provide training and coaching in many areas of leadership.  If you wish to view our training capability then please view it here.

 

 

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Change management: Why change? What is environmental scanning?

Why change?

This, is indeed, a very good question.  A quote by Charles Darwin answers this quite succinctly “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive…”.  I find that this quote not only fits for species, but companies and organisations too.

Change management starts with someone identifying a need for change.  This blog entry looks at reasons for change, the triggers for change, along with how to scan for them.

In my view of change management there are three key reasons for change:

Imposed

This occurs where something has happened outside your control and there is no option but to respond.  Examples of this include; legislation change, suppliers changing specifications or consumer trends shifting.

Advantageous or Improvement

When there is a sound business case for doing something differently then this is improvement or advantageous.  For example, to deliver a better customer experience, technical experts are placed into call centres so that queries can be resolved at first point of contact.

Experimental

Change can also be a voluntary event that has been motivated by trying something new, taking a risk or a gamble on something that may improve an area of performance.  Often referred to as a pilot.

So now we know the reasons why companies and organisations change, but what leads up to this change?

Envorionmental Scanning

Before a decision to change is taken, there is a need to identify a trigger for that change.  Using a simple model below can ensure that the majority of triggers are identified.  One commonly used model for scanning is PESTEL analysis:

 

PESTEL analysis used in change management

PESTEL analysis

 

The above diagram shows the PESTEL model in a graphical format.  As you can see the organisation is at the heart of the diagram, as it should be at the heart of your environmental scanning; a critical part of change management.

With the organisation at the centre of your research, consider current trends changes and influences in the following areas:

Political Factors

How is the government, both local and national, affecting your organisation?  Are there new funding streams available? Are there any areas that governments are prioritising and how does this affect your organisation?  Could changes in politics lead to changes in policy that influence your region?

Environmental Factors

How are factors such as weather, climate and the green agenda changing?  Will these changes impact upon your business or does it provide opportunity to exploit?

Social Factors

How are social trends shifting?  Is the demographic of your region, customer base or country changing and what impact could this have upon your organsiation?  Does an ageging population influence your workforce availability?  How do your customers do business nowadays?

Technological Factors

Does a shift toward google based phones affect your apple apps business?  What does the latest innovation in communication technology mean for your business? What new methods of automation have been developed and how could this make your organisation more efficient?

Economic Factors

This area of consideration includes; How are interest rates going to impact your customers ability to purchase or can you afford to take on a new loan now to expand?  What incentives have become available or are likely to become available?  Is your sector of business growing or contracting?

Legal Factors

Often linked to Political Factors but in my view an area to consider in its own right!  What legislation has changed?  What is going to change?  Is there new legislation being prepared?  Areas to consider are; Health and Safety, Employment Law, Equal Opportunities.

I would recommend that Environmental Scanning takes place at least once a month and you may find that some of the areas above feature more in your area of business than others, but it is critical to consider all of the factors.

Once the relevant changes in the factors above are known they should be recorded, collated and analysed.  SWOT analysis is one method of analysing whether the trigger for change is worth acting upon.  I will discuss SWOT analysis next time!

But for now it is key to remember these three points:

  1. Change can be Imposed, Advantageous/Improvement, Experimental
  2. Scan for potential triggers of change at least once a month
  3. Use PESTEL to remind you of factors to consider

Environmental Scanning is part of being an intelligent business.  Learn more or contact us for a free consultation on how Performance Works can help your organisation.

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Risk Management (Threats): Identify,Assess,Control

Okay, okay, perhaps the reality of the above situation occurring within your personal life or organisation is highly unlikely, however the message is: threats are out there!  They come in different shapes and sizes, arrive at the most inopportune moments with varying consequences.  Sometimes the consequences are amusing (as in the above) but other times the threat or risk can seriously damage our businesses.  The intelligent organisation has a risk management strategy in place, that mitigates or removes the identified threat.

What is a Risk?

A risk is an occurrence or sequence of occurrences that have the potential to influence your business in a positive or negative manner.  When it has a positive effect, then the risk is referred to as an opportunity.  When it has a negative impact, then it is known as a threat.  This blog entry will focus on the threat aspect of risk management.

What is a threat?

A threat is a risk that has the chance to prevent you from successfully delivering your product or service to your desired standard or at all.

Risk Management.

One cannot deal (mitigate or manage) with a threat unless the threat is identified.  Thus, the first thing to do is to make sure that you and your organisation are continually and actively seeking out this type of risk.  Secondly, it is vital that the organisation has a culture that individuals feel confident their managers will not chastise them for raising the risks.  Too often people are viewed as resistant to change, when the reality is they are very good at risk, (and therefore) threat identification.  It is only in a culture where feedback to leaders is accepted, that you are in a strong position to identify risks at an early stage.

After the threat has been identified, the next thing is to assess it.  It is important to ensure the threat is fully understood in as much detail as possible and then develop early warning indicators that will signal the threat is becoming a reality.

Tools that can be used to understand the threat include:

  • Risk workshops
  • Probability trees
  • Probability Impact Grid
  • Pareto Analysis
  • Expected Value Analysis
  • Monte Carlo Analysis

At the earliest opportunity, the threat should be recorded, analysed and an owner for the threat should be appointed.  This is the person who is in charge of the management, surveillance and monitoring the threat.  They are also the individual responsible for initiating appropriate responses, should the threat become realised.

Once the threat has been managed or mitigated, the risk owner should ensure that the story of the threat is recorded for posterity.  The events that led to the identification of the threat, the responses and outcomes should be captured and deposited into the organisational memory as lessons learned.  With this vital information banked for the future, you are ensuring should similar circumstances arise, that your organisation will be ready and have a potential off the shelf solution at hand.

The ability to mitigate, reduce and avoid threats, coupled with the assurance that your organisation is going to be better prepared for future events, are the reasons you need to understand and implement risk management in your organisation.

Risk management is part of the intelligent organisation, contact us now for further information and an initial (free, first fifteen minutes) consultation.

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Values based leadership; the future of leadership?

I have written a lot recently about leadership and what makes a good leader, especially in the context of the recent reports into public sector performance culture.  I believe that it is now time to ditch the traditional, transformational and transactional models of leadership and move to (or perhaps return to) values based leadership.

OK, that all sounds good, but what are you on about I imagine you saying.   At the heart of values based leadership is, rather unsurprisingly, a core set of values.

  • Environmental
  • Personal
  • Professional
  • Organisational

Lets take one of the areas of the framework above and explore how it expands (again not to completion).

Environmental

An exponent of values based leadership will:

  • recognise the importance of creating an environment where peers, employees and their managers are open to giving and receiving feedback.
  • create an environment where individuals who are not performing are visibly dealt but not at the expense of that individual’s self esteem.
  • reward hard work in the most appropriate manner.

The above shows some of the environmental values that could be found in a values based leadership framework.

So now we have a set of values, what do we do with them? This is quite simple; you add it to the decision making model that the leader uses.

It is more often than not the decisions that leaders make in an organisation that are the most visible representation of a leader on the factory floor.  It is also these decisions that influence the quality of client or customer experience.  So it is the decisions that need to be influenced by the values touched upon above.

Decision Making

As can be seen from the above.  The valuse based leadership model generates decisions through considering, policy & legislation, the situation and the values as defined in the values based leadership framework.  All of these elements are distilled by the leader and a decision is made that is as equally influenced by values as it is by policy or legislation.

For more information about leadership training contact us now.

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Performance management fails the very people it was supposed to help.

Having just watched the Channel 4 evening news, I felt compelled to stand on the old soap box and once again plead for leaders and managers to listen to what is happening around them.  It is alleged that a dysfunctional performance management culture led to victims of rape being persuaded to not proceed with cases.

This is the second time within a month that there have been damming reports on performance culture within the public sector.  Please do not think I am ignorant enough to know that unhealthy performance cultures don’t exist in the private sector, but they do not make the headlines as often.

Deborah Glass, Deputy Chair, IPCC stated on TV that “…it was a sorry indictment of the impact of the performance culture, you know, can have upon the way people carry out their… their… duties”.

The above is very much a mirror of the findings of the report into the Midstaffs NHS trust.  Performance targets being met at the expense of the people the organisations were meant to help.

My views were clear then, and are clear now.  If you have a performance measure then it must be a measure that does not drive dysfunctional performance.  There is a need to measure, I understand that, but let us not forget, that often, whats measured gets done (often at the expense of all else!).

The lesson here as last time is:  make sure you set your targets wisely.  Try them out first, speak to your people and customers, find out what they want measured and how.  By openly discussing measures with staff and customers alike you may find that people are open and will tell you what they will do to achieve the target and at what cost.  Your customers will also have a wealth of information in relation to what should be measured.

For a review of your performance measures contact us now.

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