Posts Tagged ‘performance strategy’

What’s Your Performance Strategy?

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Does your business have a strategic plan? Does it have a sales and marketing strategy? How about a product development strategy? A financial plan or strategy? Does it have a performance strategy?

If your answers to these questions were “Yes,” “Yes,” “Yes,” “Yes” and “What?” then you own, manage or work for the typical company. Most don’t even know what a “performance strategy” is.

So, what is a performance strategy? It’s a strategy to get the best performance out of the people working in the company. Study after study has shown that more than three-quarters of workers in America do not perform at the best. Most only do enough to get by. And many, who are more than capable of performing much better, don’t perform anywhere near average.

Most companies that say they have a performance strategy only really have an annual performance review process, and perhaps some type of program that links compensation to results (and not necessarily to performance). That is far from a performance strategy, and even further from a Performance Management Program (PMP).

A PMP helps individuals perform better by ensuring they have what they need to do so, including appropriate feedback, clear expectations, resources, training, a sense of what matters to them, appropriate goals, and much more. A PMP helps managers bring out the best in their employees. A PMP helps groups perform better as teams. A PMP helps the entire company perform better.

I’ve read that as many at 80% of strategic plans that companies spend large sums of money creating never get implemented. Could it be because the employees are not performing well enough to implement it?

If your company doesn’t have a performance strategy, then how can it expect to meet the goals and objectives outlined in the strategic plan, the sales and marketing strategy, the product strategy, and/or the financial plan/strategy? Isn’t it the people in the business that have to carry out these other things?

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Performance Management is NOT Conducting a Performance Review!

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Aarrrgghhh! I’m frustrated! I hate it when I hear someone say their company has a performance management plan, when all they have is a process of conducting annual – or even bi-annual – performance reviews.

This is no different than saying that you have a marketing plan when all you’ve done is run one ad in the newspaper. Sure, that ad may be a part of the marketing, but it’s not a marketing plan or marketing strategy. And sure, performance reviews may be a part of a performance management plan, but it’s NOT the entire thing.

So, what is performance management? It’s a strategy to enhance the overall performance of all personnel in the organization. Things that would typically be a part of a performance management plan are:

  • Goal setting – both individually and for teams.
  • Regular feedback systems.
  • Measurements.
  • Coaching and mentoring.
  • Reviews.
  • Workplace evaluation (improving the work are to allow and promote better performance).
  • Alignment of organizational values and culture with the individual.
  • Alignment of organizational mission and strategy with individual and group goals.
  • Communication systems.
  • Compensation.
  • Rewards and recognition.
  • Succession planning.

While this list is incomplete, it begins to demonstrate how vast performance management really is. One way of looking at performance management is this: whatever it takes to help individuals and groups within the organization to perform better. That could be moving someone from one role into another to leverage his or her strengths. It could be providing additional skills training. It could be defining specific metrics that an individual can measure themselves against on a regular basis. And it could be as simple as connecting with an individual on a personal basis, letting them know that they are appreciated for more than just being a “tool” the company uses to accomplish a task.

Ultimately, you can think of performance management as your performance strategy. If your organization has a strategic plan, a marketing strategy, a product development strategy, or a financial strategy, then doesn’t it make sense that it should have a performance strategy. Because, as Peter Drucker once alluded to, business is just a group of people trying to accomplish a common goal. Without a strategy to do that, you’re relying on hope and wishful thinking to reach your goal.

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What’s Your Performance Strategy?

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

I suspect your organization has a strategic plan, the plan of how it’s going to get from here to where it wants to be. If you’re like many organizations, it also has a marketing strategy, a sales strategy, a pricing strategy, a product development strategy, a human resources strategy, an R&D strategy… all of which rolls up into your overall strategic plan.

But does your organization have a performance strategy? You know, a strategy for ensuring that each and every individual and team performs at their best?

A number of years ago a study (“Public Agenda Report on Restoring America’s Competitive Vitality,” Yankelovich and Immerwahr, 1983) reported that only 23 percent of the workforce in America felt they were performing at their best. That means that 77 percent felt they could do more, and be more productive. In fact, 44 percent admitted that they do just enough to keep their job. And those were just the ones that admitted it!

While the study was conducted decades ago, it is consistent with my own informal surveys where I ask employees to rate their current performance on a scale of 1 to 10. At least 90 percent of the people I’ve surveyed rate their performance at no more than a 7.

Imagine if these employees were in your organization. Imagine if 90 percent of the people in your organization stepped up their performance from a 7 to a 9. What impact would that have on the overall performance of your organization?

One thing I know for sure is that hope is not a very effective strategy! Hoping that the individuals on your team and in your organization will improve their performance is really just wishful thinking. Unless there is a strategy implemented to make improvements, things will carry on just as they have in the past, no matter how much you or anyone hopes they will improve.

Oh, this applies to you, too. If you want to improve your performance, you need a strategy and a plan to implement it.

In these economic times, performance is more important than ever. It used to be that improving your performance was necessary only if you wanted to see some kind of promotion. Today, performance improvement may be the only thing between you and the long unemployment line.

From an overall corporate perspective, performance improvement may be what keeps your organization alive.

So, what’s your performance strategy?

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