Managing the way your teams to use your procedures
I really am only talking about performance management in the context of keeping accountable those in your team who need to follow documented procedures for tasks which must be consistent and for learning. I am not in HR and don’t have the right to tell you how to implement performance management in general.
Performance management has such negative connotations. In most businesses, it is not addressed at all so when bosses choose to use it in difficult circumstances, things have usually gone so far, the outcome is not positive at all. And there is so much legislation around it that care must be taken on how performance management reviews go.
A waste of time, not worth the effort, gives the wrong impression gets everyone into trouble is what I hear. And I do agree when the words mean the traditional way these reviews have been managed in the past.
But managing performance has come to mean so many more things and the way it is conducted needs to meet the needs of the role and level of flexibility it involves.
This is where experience tells me if you want a consistent outcome, then consistent, frequent, and often informal job review and feedback about why with the how is the only way.
When done effectively, it happens every day on the job, not just once a year at a performance review or when things go wrong.
You as the owner, must start with your consistent message. You need to build the relationship and be firm about your message…
- I have a systems driven business
- The systems that drive the business are mine, developed with your help
- And everyone does things this way round here – even me and my managers
Certainly, I know, if you want your teams to do their work in line with your operations manuals then there are some tricks to making this kind of performance management relevant…
1. Keep in contact with your teams.
If your teams are working separately from you, then please visit, talk, review their work – whatever is required – frequently. In a franchise group we would always encourage weekly contact as the first step in a series of contact measures.
2. Set up processes for checking as needed – be fair and relevant.
In a medically based business I know, where the importance of following procedure is essential for safety apart from anything else, the managers check the operations software reporting data daily to see if staff are referring to it to check detailed processes.
In other instances, flexibility may be important.
In all instances, be transparent about how you check on your teams.
3. Tie training, operations manuals, and performance together.
It’s important to have clear and well conducted training up front and ongoing as required so your way is known, and training makes it clear that your way is documented and accessible.
4. Establish the rules, KPIs, goals from the outset so everyone knows what they are being measured against.
5. You and your managers must also know your rules and procedures and follow them. Great leadership definitely includes leading by example.
6. Be fair, positive, and consistent in your feedback and refer to the why and how in the operations manuals as needed.
7. Ask for feedback on the operations manuals in return – do they work for your teams in the way you want, or would a change be useful? This gives your teams buy-in and makes the resulting ops manuals better.
8. Always stand by your operations manuals and when they come to you with that question…
How do I do this?
Answer with a question…
Have you checked the manual?
They will soon learn to click the button on their phone to get the information they need before asking you the question.
But if they say yes, then you know things need to be up dated.
9. Do hold regular more formal performance reviews with your teams too. But be very strong about you and your managers basing these on growth – learning about the next step and introducing training as required. This way if you do need to enter performance management when things go wrong, you can do it in the positive tone you have already established.
10. Tie performance to the operations manuals where this is relevant. If your manuals are well designed and written and explain the why as well as outlining the procedures around your business, then they will make your position so much stronger.