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Do Your People Know How to Keep Score?

Okay, I know the title is a little difference and some of you are thinking – what is he talking about today?

Actually, I thinking about how often when I’m working with a group of people in an organization – these people have no idea how they are expected to succeed within their company. Really? Yes, Really!

What is going on here?

It is quite simple. No one has showed them how to keep score and what methods to use to score higher in their performance evaluations.

Mid Year Review – Are People Held Accountable?

Today marks the last day of the first half of the calendar year – and for many of you it is the end of fiscal year for your organization. Good, now for the real test – Are Your People Held Accountable for Their Results?

This apparently is a touchy subject for many people in the corporate world and a misunderstood subject for most entrepreneurs. Why is this so?

First, research has shown a total disconnect between the term accountability and results with large corporate run organizations. Seems the major point of concern for corporate managers is being safe and having job security rather than being accountable for actual or real results. (I know that was a bold statement, yet, I have experienced this disconnect on multiple occasions – even having to change a theme of Key Accountability Identifiers for a group of senior level executives who complained about the use of Accountability in the process, which they did not understand. And, you would know the organization I’m referring to – large international firm.)

How Are You Measuring ROI Managerial Performance?

Got into an interesting discussion recently about how managers are measured relative to their job performance. During this dialogue I suddenly became aware of one of the major pitfalls in the measurement process.

What is getting measured has a direct impact on the performance of an organization – revenue growth or cost containment?

The truth is managers have found it much easier to cut or control costs than to focus upon revenue growth. In fact, most managers do not believe their functional group has anything to do with revenue growth. This is a sad yet truthful statement.

The reality of this point is any organization to have long term stability needs growth – especially organic revenue growth. There is a huge need for organizations to commit to having a sales based culture.

How Executives Create a Top Strategic Company

One topic I hear about from management and executives within organizations is all about – “how do we ensure execution of our strategic plan and objectives?” So, after asking a few questions, we uncover the reasons their execution of the plans is flawed.

Now, in many cases the executive team creates a Strategy and then just expect it to happen since they all agreed on what it should be. This is what I call – you build it and they will come strategy. While this worked well in the fantasy world of movie making, it has little connection to the reality of the business world and organizational dynamics.

In my opinion there are four initiatives a management team must have in place for the organization to execute and meet their strategic goals and objectives. These four initiatives include the following…

High Value Activities- The Pareto Principle Again

We have looked at the 80/20 Rule, or the Pareto Principle, many times in our posts and for a variety of topics.   The Pareto Principle basically touches everything we do.

This post covers our High Value Activities, or HVAs.   These are the daily, weekly, monthly activities that are going to make your goals, dreams, ideas, and results come alive!   80% of our success comes from 20% of our activities.  Yes, you heard that right.  A mere 20% of our activities fuel our success.  The remainder of our time we are working on Low Value Activities that can be very exhausting.  They are the routines and ruts that we find ourselves in that many times can be eliminated or delegated.

In our next post we will look at ways to move closer to our High Value Activities.

“Are we doing things right or are we doing the right things?”   Judy Bell

Success and Career Paths

The fourth C in the twelve part series on success is Career Paths.

Career Path is a hot topic, yet for some of the wrong reasons these days – the recession and the loss of so many jobs. Yet, read on since if you are in this group – career path becomes more important than before. Career Paths truly have an impact upon both you – the individual – and organizational success. It is important to understand this importance.

What is Career Paths?

Do You Have an “On Boarding” System in Place?

Whether you call it an “on Boarding system,” an orientation program or a Fast Start system, it may mean the difference in having a high performer or not. It is one of the key systems for creating a high performance culture.

So what is this on boarding system all about?

In simple terms it is a process that gets a new employee in a job started with clear focus on the outcomes of the job. It helps to get someone new in a position to get started quickly and get productive as soon as possible.

There are several key items for an on boarding system to work.

  1. Key Accountabilities for the Job
  2. A Prioritized Listing on Key Traits for the Job to be Successful
  3. A Manager Who Understands the Need for a Fast Start in a New Position
  4. A Mentor or Coach Assigned to the New Person

Key Accountabilities for the Job include the key outcomes that are expected from this job function. This is not to be confused with a Job Description. Most, not all, Job Descriptions are nothing more than an activity list for a job with no mention of actual outcomes and results expected.

A Prioritized Listing of Key Traits identified for the Job to be successful show the person just what is needed to be a success. These traits should be closely matched to the new hire (if you want to top grade your company and staff) with few exceptions. The closer the true match, the higher the level of natural performance from the individual in the position or job. It is a true win-win for both the company and the employee. Also, any mismatches between the job traits and the individual’s traits reflects a clear path for an individualized personal development process.

A Manager that understands the need for a fast start when a potential high performer is on board. The major mistake by most managers in this situation is to be unprepared for the start up or to take a lazy attitude about ramping up the responsibilities of the new hire. I have seen terrible situations regarding new hires whereby the manager had no place assigned for a new employee. Placed the person in the company lunchroom and forgot about him! Two weeks later the manager was amazed when informed that the new potential superstar had quit.  – You can’t make this stuff up! It’s true. New hires, especially potential high performers need to launch quickly and take on critical projects as soon as possible. Remember, high performers are looking for new challenges rather than hiding from them.

Finally, a mentor or coach should be assigned to the new hire to assist them with the inner workings of the organization, who the real players are, what politics are in play, and what are the procedures that need or should be followed to get things done quickly and effectively. An organized mentor process will increase the effectiveness of a new hire by a factor of five, due to less trial and error and more focus on getting results.

If you don’t have an effective “on-boarding” system, contact us immediate to discuss how to get one for your team or organization. They are proven to get the results you require and create a high performance culture. It’s simple to install and works in every area of the organization. Call us at 901-757-4434 and let’s discuss your situation.

Does Your Training Have an Objective?

Sometimes I have to apologize for my daily insight as it should be a no-brainer. Yet, it seems every week there  is a call or an executive that wants some type of training for their company or group that can not answer this question.

How can you determine the return on investment for any training if there is no thought regarding the objectives or outcomes from the engagement?

This has been (and seems to continue to be) an issue in the corporate environment. There are direct and indirect expenses involved with training as well as time lost from a daily job environment. If there is no objectives – ones that can be measured – how can anyone determine if the training is paying back?

It’s Time to Think for a Change!

Okay, it’s time for me to rant about things that I don’t understand. During the past two weeks I have had to deal with “stupid” customer service issues from several different organizations. It amazes me that people are not allowed to think about what they are doing or just refuse to think while using “rules” as their excuse – eh – reason.

While I know I’m not perfect, I will attempt to think about the issues before I act on things. However, when confronted with rules – people can not think or even use common sense.

In one case, after I raised the issue about a “rule” that appeared to only be a revenue generator for the company I learned that a manager actually asked about the rule. The manager learned that it was one of those “rules” that was unwritten, unknown as to when and why it was implemented, and no one could explain the reasoning for the rule. This is a clear example of no one taking the responsibility to question a rule that only aggravated their clients.

There have been several other examples of “stupid” rules that I have had to deal with over the past two weeks. My question is why do people (who are educated) not thinking and taking action? It appears there are four  reasons:

Track Leadership Progress with Performance Management Systems

This is the fifth step of a Leadership Development Process. The tracking of a leader’s progress using a performance management system provides control and a universal check system. The data and insight provided by a tracking system allows the monitoring of results on a consistent basis.

Without a tracking system, the development process becomes a hit or miss system. There is no checking mechanism to ensure the process is working and the individuals are executing their plans. The performance management system is the glue for the process.

Performance Management systems come in all sizes, shapes and forms. The automated versions are the most valuable when used properly. The pen and paper versions are still in use with some companies – mainly because of a lack of investment in people development. When leadership is not committed to the development your people for higher performance process – then systems and processes as well as commitment is limited.

The best companies understand that it’s the people that make a difference in the business. It’s the people that make the decisions, manage the personnel and the processes, and interact with the customers – every day. So a purposeful developmental process and an automated performance management system are essential to the overall growth and health of an organization.

Performance management systems track the goals, meetings, action plans and decisions made by the individuals in the company. It tracks the overall performance of leaders and their teams. It provides information over a specific period of time – yearly, quarterly, monthly and weekly – all documented for analysis and evaluation. The progress made by participants in the leadership development processes or programs is an important element. It is the progress that accumulates over time and leads to consistent high performance.

Remember the old saying: What gets Measured, Gets Done.

This classic statement is still accurate today. If you want things to get done, they must be measured and discussed. Discussions about performance standards enable individuals to understand what is needed to be successful and respected as a performer. High performance is not an accident. It happens due to a conscious effort to measure and track results.

If you lack an automated Performance Management System, contact us at 901.757.4434 during business hours of 9 to 5 Central time USA to discuss possible solutions. We can assist you with a complete package or simply Managing Performance Priorities on a weekly basis.