People do what you inspect not what you expect.
As an SME owner or leader, managing and measuring performance is an essential element to building a successful business.
Those of you who read the leadership article will know I advocate that the key role of the leader is to influence behaviours, set the cultural tone and establish the strategic direction.
Once this has been done it needs to be constantly monitored by regular and consistent review. The review process should be a formal event within the monthly calendar of meetings. This is so it is given appropriate importance and becomes an integral part of the company’s culture and behaviour. The review then acts as a regular inspection as to whether the senior managers and other staff are delivering against the objectives set – both tangible and intangible.
By undertaking regular inspection, your team and staff will realise that what is set out by the leadership and ownership group are not just headline strategic goals but genuine and serious objectives.
Interestingly, performance management is the leadership practise which brings numerous factors together. Regular inspection and formal reviews will themselves be part of establishing behaviours and setting the cultural tone of the business.
If you as a SME owner or leader do not take managing and measuring seriously, why should your team be expected to do so?
Incentivising staff is intrinsically linked to performance management.
If you have managed to align your key staff incentives to stakeholder goals, as I described in our incentivising staff article, it is much more probable that they will be motivated to demonstrate to you how successful they have been. This makes managing performance much less of a chore. In fact, it creates an environment whereby top performers look forward to the opportunity to show to you how valuable they are.
A formal review process should be easily projected up and down through an organisation so that every manager is both reviewing his or her staff while being reviewed by their line manager or indeed by yourself. Depending on the core responsibilities, the inspection of performance can focus on the most important metrics. For example, sales activity or customer management.
Establishing an effective performance review takes commitment from the leadership group so that it becomes a meaningful and worthwhile investment of time for both staff and managers. It should be a constant process and provide a two-way dialogue between leadership and management. It is your job as the SME owner or leader to ensure that your team can comment freely without fear of being penalised. Importantly, embedding a consistent review process enables a leader to understand how the team are operating and quickly identify areas that need attention or provide an opportunity for enhanced growth.
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For any SME owner or leader, managing performance effectively starts with getting visibility. See how our Sales Visibility Service can equip you with the principles you need to achieve real sales visibility of your sales position.
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