Barriers to Performance Improvement – Part Three
This is part three of a five part series about the Barriers to Performance Improvement.
These are all major and common in business and organizations today and will need to be addressed in order to completely turn around our competitive advantage in the global economy.
The Third Barrier to Performance Improvement is…
Weak Performance Expectations
This barrier is based upon avoiding risk by asking subordinates for less than potentially attainable or allowing for non-performance with little to no negative consequences for unfavorable results.
One of the biggest frustrations of subordinates comes from not knowing how they are being evaluated. A major contributor to this comes from having no clear expectations or having low or minimum standards of performance. The end result of this barrier is poor energy levels within the employee ranks which contribute to low levels of employee satisfaction with no desire to improve.
In order to stop or slow this outcome you must be on the watch for the common signals of weak performance expectations.
Here are the major four signals to watch for…
- Hedged Goals and Objectives
When goals or objectives are being set by individuals who are hedging their results, then their standards are low. The real issue here comes with the fact these people are not challenging themselves to achieve higher results. Therefore, they set goals which they can attain using the status quo of performance – the non-challenging or no change for improvement type. Learn how to use stretch goals to provide motivation to improve.
- Improper Delegation Techniques
Most of the time managers use a form of work assignment rather than true delegation. Work assignment comes with a complete how to do it plan or directions – leaving no thought, choices or decisions to be made by the employee; This is usually a very demotivating method since there is no challenge for the staff member. The key here is to use excellent delegation techniques designed to challenge the employee therefore giving them a means to have a motivation to learn something new – improving their skill and mind sets.
- Using Bureaucracy as Excuse or Coverups
Larger organizations a usually the ones with bureaucracy issues however I have seen it smaller organizations due to strong political culture. The major thing to remember is individuals are responsible for their performance and their personal improvement. Using excuses such as my manager won’t let me go to a seminar to learn X is weak in this day an age of internet. Information can be discovered in multiple sources and then used to improve skill sets. Excuses are a form of assigning blame to others rather than taking responsible for your actions and growth. Stop using others as the reason for your current level of performance.
- Rewards and Incentives Unrelated to Results
This is a systems breakdown in my opinion, yet, there are numerous organizations with this illness. Wanting certain levels or kinds of results and then rewards a totally different outcome is a sign of insanity in my opinion. If you are a manager, you need to look hard at the incentive structure of your organization. Are you sending a consistent message relative to the results and outcomes you want and need – or are you created built in conflict or ethical issues due to misalignment of rewards. There are two areas which need strict attention regarding the incentive structures of your organization – the sales team and the management team. Get these right and the results and outcomes you want will multiply rapidly.
There you have the common signals leading to barriers of performance improvement. Take some time to reflect upon these signals and how they could be impacting your results. Then take measures to change and improve these work standards by raising the bar of expected performance.
Remember, people will always figure out the rewards and importance factors and will work them for their personal benefit. Alignment of performance standards will create performance improvement within your organization.
If you need assistance working on these alignment issues give us a call at 901-757-4434 between the hours of 8 to 5 Central Time in the USA or send us an email using the contact us forms. We look forward to helping you achieve greater results and move to the next level of performance.
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Voss Graham is an Organizational Architect with 30+ years of experience designing sustainable business growth for organizations of all sizes.
Creating the Strategic Focus with the Executive Leadership Teams, he uses Systems & Process to ensure the Drivers for Business Growth are Executed at the Highest Levels. Voss is available as a Speaker for your conferences or company meetings – contact him at 901-757-4434 or use the LinkedIn or Facebook direct messages.