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Steps to Make it Happen Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by [deleted]

Steps to Make it Happen

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.


1. Secure the public support of top management

Secure the public support of top management as champions. Everyone needs to understand this is an important problem. Derek is correct that effective perfor­mance feedback is a key to high perfor­mance. Experts in talent management argue for identi­fying the “A” players. This should be a priority.

2. Involve managers throughout the process

Involve managers throughout the process to revise the way their perfor­mance will be evaluated. The best managers can serve as Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and there is every reason to rely on that approach here. They know the problems better than anyone. With guidance, a small team can define the parameters for the process in two or three meetings. If we were designing a tool for a carpenter, we would want them involved. It’s no different here. Then they “own” the new system and can commun­icate their progress effect­ively with peers.

3. Hold managers accoun­table for managing

Hold managers accoun­table for managing perfor­mance. They need to understand what’s expected and how their perfor­mance will be evaluated, and that their pay and career progress will depend in part on how they perform. Developing perfor­mance measures including job-sp­ecific compet­encies is not difficult. In my opinion the engagement of their people should be a key perfor­mance indicator (KPI).

4. Provide coaching for ineffe­ctive managers

Provide coaching for managers that are ineffe­ctive. My experience suggests those that are the best warrant recogn­ition and will be more readily accepted as coaches than anyone in HR. Managers who do not show improv­ement should be moved back to their former position. That sends a powerful message. Recent studies have confirmed that poor superv­ision is often the reason employees quit. The cost of poor superv­ision justifies the investment in coaching..

Make It Happen

5. Technology is already important

But one problem that has not been adequately addressed is the fact that managers and superv­isors are confronted with perfor­mance problems throughout the year, but often are embarr­assed to admit they do not know or recall the answers – so they muddle through, sometimes with disastrous reperc­uss­ions. That suggests developing a Q&A addressing common concerns and providing advice that they can easily access.

6. Rely on small groups of high performing

Rely on small groups of high performing job incumbents to define perfor­mance criteria for each signif­icant occupa­tion. The idea that the same perfor­mance dimensions should be used for all employees should have been discarded decades ago. Experi­enced incumbents serving as SMEs know what is essential for job success. With guidance, they can define a set of key compet­encies important to their job family in two or three meetings.

7. Define “Outst­anding” & “Unacc­ept­able”

Define both the “Outst­anding” and the “Unacc­ept­able” perfor­mance levels on each perfor­mance measure. Employees want to know what they have to accomplish to be succes­sful. Many will aspire to be “Outst­and­ing.” The organi­zation needs to be able to defend low ratings. And most important, it will facilitate those perfor­mance feedback discus­sions. The best performers serving as SMEs can do this in an extra meeting or two.

8. Promise to review the perfor­mance

Promise to review the perfor­mance system and its use annual­ly.When there are problems, employees want to know they will be addressed. Involving employee focus groups is not costly. They can also be helpful in solving problems. This is not brain surgery.