Like most other businesses you are probably slap bang in the middle of appraisal time, which means you are inevitably giving some thought to next year’s performance objectives.
It doesn’t take a business guru to tell you that if you want your company to thrive, you need to make sure that your staff are firing on all cylinders. Of course, as is often the case when it comes to the tricky business of managing people, this can be much easier said than done.
If you want to achieve big things, you need clear and effective processes in place to help you to get there. Your line managers play a huge role in creating a productive and high-performing culture, and you need to ensure that you’re driving them in the right direction.
Here, I share some of my tips for encouraging your line managers to play an active part in improving performance.
- Create procedures that underpin your objectives
Your line managers can often only operate within the constraints that you provide them with. If you want them to excel in particular areas, you need to create a framework that allows them to do so. For this reason, it’s important that you consider what you already have in place that helps staff to reach their full potential.
Do you have a policy that outlines how often and in what format performance discussion should happen? Is there something in place that ensures the work is being carried out? Who ultimately chases things up to ensure that procedures are being followed? It’s not necessarily about ticking boxes, but you do need to create systems that encourage the day-to-day tasks to be carried out.
- Give your managers the confidence and skills they need to have meaningful discussions
Unfortunately, making sure that performance discussions are taking place is only the first hurdle. It’s not so much about frequency, as it is about the quality of the conversations that are happening.
At the end of the day, talking about performance and addressing areas of concern can be daunting, even for the most experienced line managers. It’s important that you give them the opportunity to hone their skills, and to keep developing them on a regular basis. Consider how you can do this within your business. It may be the case that you need to roll out some training sessions, or perhaps you need to have your own one-to-one discussions with your management team so you can better understand how you can support them.
- Encourage your managers to facilitate career development in their teams
Performance management isn’t just about fixing problems and making sure that the work gets done within a specified frame of time. It’s about looking ahead towards the future and ensuring that your business has the right kind of talent to drive operations forward and achieve growth.
The key takeaway here is that if your employees aren’t being given a chance to flourish, they’re likely to start looking elsewhere. Do you really want to lose your talented members of staff to your competitors? Be sure that your line managers are having open and honest conversations with their direct reports about where they see themselves in the next five years, and that information is taken seriously and considered when it comes to planning the direction of the business as a whole.
If line management capability is something that you want to improve, I can help. I believe that successful businesses are created when leadership teams are given the tools they need to excel.