It’s simple: performance matters. Whether it is the performance of individuals or the performance of your entire company, ensuring that performance is delivered and maximized it is THE most critical job of any manager.
Based on my work helping many of the leading companies around the globe achieve peak performance, here are five key imperatives I feel are vital:
- Ensure everyone is clear about the strategic direction and objectives. In order to deliver performance, individuals – and that means everyone – in your company need to be clear about the direction. They needs a clear understanding of the overall objectives, aims and targets the company is aiming to achieve and how their own objectives and responsibilities relate to them and help deliver the corporate goals.
- Create a trusting environment in which responsibilities are delegated. If you want people to perform you have to let them go and give them freedom to do so. It is important to clearly delegate responsibility and at the same time provide a trusting environment in which people are given the space to deliver.
- Allow people to make mistakes and learn from them. There is no better way to learn than by burning your fingers. By passing down responsibility you also have to pass down the acceptance that people will make mistakes. Even the best of us make mistakes and usually we learn from them and are able to avoid them in the future.
- Monitor performance and create an environment of fact-based decision making. It is no secret that decisions that are in based on facts are general better than those that are not. An environment in which facts are collected and shared and where decisions are tested using data tends to generate improved performance.
- Avoid over-reliance on over-simplified performance metrics. The danger with monitoring performance is however, that we rely on metrics and KPIs that are just measuring what is easy to count as opposed to what actually matters the most. To avoid this, companies need to make sure that they balance the simple counting of things with qualitative insights and interpretations and allow managers to bring in their gut feel and professional experience to the interpretation of metrics.
Of course, there are so many other imperatives, which ones would you add? And do you agree or disagree with the five I have listed here?