One of the most important things each of us can do as managers is to maintain a high level of consistency. Do it right and you will get the right results—the ones you need. And, one of the most important things we do as managers is doing the right thing for every level of performance we get from our employees.
Here is a top-level view.
In order to do this properly, we need to measure performance and take the appropriate action.
It is a great deal easier than one might suspect. This is because employees only want to know a few things to do their jobs.
- What they’re supposed to do.
- How they’re going to be measured.
- How they’re doing right now.
- And, what are the consequences.
Making the process even easier, there’s only four possible levels of performance anyone can deliver.
- Achieving the goal.
- Exceeding the goal.
- Missing the goal.
- Always missing the goal.
So let’s examine the four points contained in both of these categories.
- The expectations of the job. The best and most appropriate way to delineate the expectations of any position is via a position description. The position description should delineate the basic accountability and functions expected in the job. Plus, the position description should be augmented on an annual basis by providing a development plan for each employee.
- How performance will be measured. The position description should also delineate how the employee’s performance will be measured. It should indicate the frequency of performance evaluations, both formal and informal. The employee should also be aware that his or her individual performance will be measured no less frequently than monthly during accountability meetings.
- How the employee is doing. Every employee should be appraised of their level of performance with at least three methods. First, through periodic scheduled formal performance valuations. Second, during accountability meetings. And third, with periodic informal comments and suggestions.
- What are the consequences. These would include both awards and reprimands. Every employee deserves to know in detail the compensation plan and how their performance is connected to that compensation. Additionally, every employee needs to know the minimum standards of performance, satisfactory levels of performance; and, what constitutes other levels of performance all the way up to exceptional.
- Achieving goals. In simple terms, achieving goals denotes satisfactory levels of performance. The appropriate action for you, their manager, is to essentially allow them to maintain or keep their job—no more. It’s inappropriate to give the employee lavish levels of praise for making goals. The primary reason for this is that you’re likely to have employees who are achieving at a high level. These employees will not appreciate you giving rewards to those just “doing their job”.
- Exceeding goals. Now, it’s appropriate to give praise to every employee that is exceeding their goals. Your skill as a top level manager will mean you supply these “rewards” at levels that are appropriate for the actual achievement. Once again, your high level employees will not appreciate you giving major rewards to those performing at levels lower than theirs. However, you’ll run a great risk if you under reward your highest level employees. Those are the ones you want to keep. But, you’ll lose them quickly if you don’t reward them skillfully.
- Missing goals. You will need to take swift and appropriate action when ever anyone misses a goal. The most appropriate actions to take would be offering coaching; additional training; and time to correct their unsatisfactory performance levels.
- Consistently missing goals. Provided you’ve done the right thing when employees begin missing goals, by the time they are consistently missing them the only appropriate action for you to take is dismissal. Failure to do this properly will indicate to your performing employees that you allow poor performance. They will consider you a very weak boss if you do this.
It’s vital that you do everything above with grace and style. If you do, you’ll be one of the elite managers in the country. If you don’t…
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