How to Own Performance Illness



Outline: I struggle with employees and leaders that don’t take performance metrics and behaviors seriously. Identifying, owning and strategically planning for improvement is crucial to prevent performance illness. Once behaviors start slipping within a business it can be very difficult to shift movement back to where it needs to be. Below I have provided some advice on owning your performance metrics and behaviors.

  1. Spending small and consistent amounts of time on identifying current and potential issues will prevent colossal damage to performance in the near future.
  2. Just as you think that something is “fixed”, it will be become your lowest metric quickly.
  3. Speak about important goals daily. It can be less frequent as performance is steady, but don’t ever stop drawing awareness to specific goals.
  4. Be consistent with your team members; make sure that you and each person on your team are contributing to performance fairly.
  5. “What is managed must be measured”- make sure that you have a scoreboard in the backroom outlining performance standards and metrics.
  6. When things start to slip, have immediate conversations with employees; do not wait for things to progressively get worse.
  7. When you achieve small wins, make them enormous celebrations to reinforce positive behaviors.
  8. Support your company by explaining the reasons behind metrics. Employees who find value in their performance are more likely to be top-performers.
  9. When soft conversations and discoveries don’t increase performance, it’s time to move towards corrective disciple/action.
  10. Find a leader in each performance metric, study what they do best, and make sure you teach this to the rest of the team.

Healthy performance is incredibly important for a business to achieve success. How many metrics does your team have? How many obstacles and barriers prevent you from focusing on each of these metrics? There will always be something that makes performance difficult, but identifying these barriers early and often can have a positive impact on your team’s performance and morale.

It’s important to collaborate with group members openly around performance. When it comes time to having more difficult 1:1 conversations, those need to happen as well. Support your team members by allowing them to teach others, suggest ways for improvement, and even challenge you as a leader to lead by example.

I hope this helps you and your employees rally as a team to support your organization’s efforts. Remember to “manage what is measured”, speak openly about group performance, and develop daily!

-Michael Dooley




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