5 Steps to Effective Performance Management

Over the last 15 years I have worked with hundreds of managers, including team leaders and supervisors, in organizations of all shapes and sizes. Many of those managers were, by their own admission, reluctant to manage. Of course on a day by day basis they did manage people – they answered questions, allocated work, went to management meetings, and held some team briefings. But what they most often didn’t do is apply a focused and structured approach to managing their staff’s performanceIn theory, managers know they should be managing performance, that they should be using the review or appraisal system, and that they should be having dynamic discussions with their staff about their performance. But clearly there’s an obvious difference between knowing you should do something and actually doing it. And when managers don’t manage, the business suffers and so do their staff. So what’s the answer? These are five steps I’ve seen applied, by my clients, with very positive effect:Step One – Help managers to understand why performance management is important to the businessDo managers need help in understanding the value of managing performance? Do they need to understand why effective performance management is a critical commercial issue and how effective performance management impacts business success? Only through getting this clarity can a manager gain the confidence that there will be some real business benefit derived from their efforts. Otherwise, why bother?Step Two – Help managers understand why performance management is important to their staffDo managers know that research shows that what people seem to want, and want quite badly, is to be well managed? That they want a strong, mutually supportive relationship with their manager based on interest and clarity? Much of what ‘well managed’ means is effective performance management. The manager’s role in the satisfaction and the engagement of their staff can’t be overstated but often needs to be explained.Step Three – Help managers to embrace their right to manage performanceFrequently the managers I work with seem to feel the need to gain permission to undertake probably the most important part of their role – managing performance. They clearly know there are expectations of them as managers but they don’t feel they have somehow earned the right to manage. Do managers need to understand the rights they have to manage? Do they know what those rights look like in practice?Step Four – Give managers the tools and techniques they need to manage people’s performanceDo managers have access to a range of tools and techniques which can make the seemingly complex much, much simpler? How can we expect managers to know, for example, that there is a simple way to give feedback about even the most ‘difficult’ performance issue so that the issue can be understood and accepted by the staff member? Managers just do not have the time to work these processes out for themselves so they either waste a lot of time (and staff good will) on ‘trial and error’ or they just give up.Step Five – Ensure that managing performance is a top priority for your managersDo managers have ‘managing performance’ listed in their job description, their job objectives or anywhere else? I have heard hundreds of managers tell me that there is nothing written down or agreed that describes their responsibilities as a performance manager. So why would a manager dedicate time and effort to an activity for which they are not held accountable, for which there is no reward, which appears to be just about the lowest priority of the business? How can organisations expect their managers to undertake the complex work of managing their staff’s performance if:a) the manager does not know what being an effective performance manager looks like ipractice in their organisation
b) the manager is not held accountable for the effective performance management of their staff – it is not seen as an integral part of their job but something to be done when all of the ‘real work’ has been completed
c) they are not acknowledged or rewarded for effective performance management?In summaryIt’s all about developing the ‘will’ and the ‘skill’. Helping managers to understand the importance of effective performance management, helping them develop the skills and then holding them accountable for applying those skills in practice

Interpersonal Communication – An Effective Delegation Management Skill for Increased Performance

There are many different management styles and manager personality characteristics. All can be appropriate or inappropriate based on a number of factors such as:
Type of business
Size and make up of business unit
Goals and Objectives
It may be that in a high-stress and mission critical situation, a more autocratic style might be appropriate (think military battle situation). At other times, a much more team-oriented style would be better (think a business unit where collaboration is key). In most business settings, a manager gets promoted to a leadership position based on performance, seniority, and other factors unrelated to “style of management.”So if management style is somewhat a given person-by-person and a manager is put in a position of responsibility to lead a business unit regardless of “style”, what can be done to improve performance? The answer is that every manager needs to get better at certain core skills regardless of their style, or sometimes in spite of their style. One such skill to explore is “interpersonal” management.”Interpersonal management skills represent a more collaborative style in leading the business unit. A manager may find times when the project or problem requires a more collaborative approach and interpersonal skills would boost results. What are some of the basic characteristics of “interpersonal” management?
Encourage participation in developing projects and solutions and sharing of ideas.
The manager shares all information relevant to the task at hand.
Power and authority are delegated, where appropriate, to carry out specific tasks and assignments.
Managers support and encourage “team-work” in planning and executing the assignment.
These basic approaches to fostering interpersonal management are not particularly difficult to employ when the situation requires. The problem is that most managers, particularly male managers according to many studies, come to the table with a more “authoritative” style or mind-set. It is the common “command and control” style that does not include much interpersonal/collaborative interaction. Certainly, the more directive and authority driven styles can be productive and have their place. The challenge to productivity and execution by managers who naturally employ this style is those situations where collaboration is needed to carryout a project.The key here is “recognition.” The top managers will realize when a situation, problem or project is such that “interpersonal” skills will be needed to foster the teamwork and collaboration needed for a particular assignment or project. These managers think-through what the assignment will require as part of the pre-project planning and review process. When they conclude that business unit or team collaboration will be the winning approach, they deliberately modify their management style to integrate more interpersonal skills into their management.It is a thoughtful and deliberate application of style modification. This is a hallmark of very effective leadership and it is called Versatility. Managers who can adopt a different style to fit the circumstances at hand are showing the versatility to match the situation. It can be a winning formula.

Strategic Marketing Using Digital Channels The Right Way

If you are looking to implement marketing from a strategic perspective in your company or business endeavour by making use of digital channels then it may well serve you to seek out some advice first. That’s some of what we set out to do here as we look to highlight some of the ins and outs of executing marketing in the digital age. There is more to digital marketing that ordinarily meets the eye as found in our consulting, devising and executing search engine and social media marketing campaigns.When a company is looking to [via its marketing personnel or use of third party agencies] market its products and services use the available digital marketing channels such as…
Video Marketing
Email Marketing
Search Engine Marketing
Social Media Marketing
Micro Blogging
… all of the activities will need to be carried out via specific digital marketing channels with a view to getting engagement from chosen target market sector clients.As an example of the statement made above; the decision could be made to use the social media marketing and to connect with clients using an associated advertising platform through which to serve up ads. Going through the process of crafting and executing specific ads necessitates that one understands who the target audience is that the business is concerned with so that time is not wasted running ads that will be ultimately shown up to people that are not interested in the related products or services that the company has to offer. Going through the targeting process will determine where one’s audience ‘hangs out’ so that when the message is seen it is relatively easier to consume [or be interacted with].When running ads within the social media marketing channel alongside that of publishing engaging and compelling content, connect, following and republishing others content. It is important to make sure that the ads are in fact related to target clients likes, interests and aspirations as this will affect click through rate, engagement and other factors that lead to the actual cost of running the ad itself.The content aspect of digital marketing is indeed a critical and foundational one as one piece of content can effectively be repurposed for use in various formats and on differing platforms and digital marketing channels. E.g. a well written article can be used as a blog post, then used as the basis for a podcast, this same piece of content can be developed into a video and then used to create multiple micro blogging content pieces. Each piece of content should be used within planned digital marketing channels in order to deliver the marketing message through to the intended market segments.With the world in which we live in becoming increasingly technology enabled; this is continuing to open up opportunities for marketers and business owners to present their message to clients found the world over. However it is important to execute correctly and to start with the right messages, next the most appropriate digital marketing channel [some of which are listed above] are used in order to put the marketing message in front of the right audience. In other words a targeted approach should used as opposed to a shotgun spray and hope approach.At the end of the day digital marketing is still a subset of marketing and it itself has its own set of sub digital marketing channels. The strategic digital marketing approach is strongly recommended as when adhered to and the results start coming in, one will understand why it’s important to continue to adopt this approach to business promotion.