I am working as a part time lecturer at the BIBF with adult learners who are studying Chartered Insititute of Personnel and Development and Chartered Management Institute programs. Through this process I am learning a number of things - and one is that I have had a lot of experience in the workplace and all of this experience (positive and negative) has value when you are teaching people who are developing their skills in areas you know about through your own journey.
Five enduring issues with performance management
I have been teaching a section on performance management and am struck by the fact that much of the process has endured unchanged from my time as a manager and yet the challenges have changed considerably. Some things however stay the same.
Goals are still not set properly
Conversations often don't happen
Feedback is mishandled
...and often the process can be a chore for all concerned.
Everyone knows how to improve things but believe that somehow the system is bigger than they are and so they can't or don't take action and usually it is the 'managers' who are to blame.
Ten things that are simple to do, that don't cost any money and that will improve performance
People seem to want very similar things:
Regular, short meetings about daily and weekly performance.
Targets that are hard, but not too hard.
Once targets are met some acknowledgement - ideally some 'celebration' before higher targets are set
Clarity about expectations
Fairness about workload
Appreciation for work done that is 'above and beyond'
Authentic interest and curiosity about how you are and how things are going
Small, thoughtful gestures from time to time
A genuine interest in people's broader lives
and above all 'please give me responsibility and accountability' for my goals
Three things to bear in mind
- Closed doors and a lack of interest are killers of commitment.
- People watch what you do and give you loyalty accordingly
- Consistency over time is key
I have also been thinking about how old fashioned many of the internal communications and management tools are now given the impact of new technology on the traditional ways of doing most things. You can see that email swamps most people's capacity to pay attention to important information. The younger students use their mobiles and iPads in ways that need to be harnessed rather than outlawed and I am curious to learn more about what is possible to do with social media in terms of improving business performance from the inside out.
I saw this TED talk and was struck by this idea outlined by Simon Senek - that we connect with organisations more profoundly when the answer to 'why' an organisation exists resonates with our own values and how this helps both employees and customers to actively engage with the company more wholeheartedly.
I also saw this infographic from the Compliance and Safety blog that has some interesting statistics about social media in the workplace. They believe that it can be used to improve the flow of information, the levels of engagement, delivering learning and development content as part of a blend and make the point that this is here to stay - so organisations need to learn to use this for their benefit in the process of engaging their own staff.
What do you use in your workplace that helps to improve your own or your team's performance?
Please let me know how you use social media in the workplace and if it helps to improve your own performance.