Employees don’t know if they’re performing correctly? Huh. That’s a problem…

infrastructureHave you ever heard the old saying “hope is not a strategy?” Hope may, in fact, lead to success or it may not. If it does lead to success, the chance of repeating the success isn’t very good unless you know exactly what you did to achieve it.

In my email this morning was an article from Mark Murphy of LeadershipIQ. I like his stuff; it’s research grounded and generally practical.  The research he presented this morning was a survey of 30,000+ employees who were asked to rate “I know whether my performance is where it should be.”  I guess it’s encouraging that almost 30% said “Always,” and another 14% responded “frequently.” But that’s still less than half of a humongous research sample.

So if over half of a group of employees are not sure if the work they are doing is meeting expectations or not, you have to ask the question, “Is it?” And if it isn’t, is it costing more than it should to duplicate work, correct mistakes or go down the wrong path? Probably. (more…)

Could your boss use your help?

the_office_54745-500x375cI am unhappy with my boss….he doesn’t give me feedback…..when she gives me feedback, it’s really vague and unhelpful….he doesn’t do what he says he’s going to do….she doesn’t tell me what is expected of me…..he [insert your personal complaint here…]

I have been hearing this a lot lately, even from smart and accountable people. Leadership is so important, and organizations struggle to hire and develop strong leaders. Employees seem to have very high expectations of leaders, and not a lot of tolerance for imperfection.

I just started watching the TV show “Lost,” (As usual, I’m woefully behind on popular shows) and it made me think about leadership.   If you don’t know the show, a plane crashes on a deserted island, and the survivors begin to make sense of their new world order. (more…)

5 easy steps to “fix” your organization’s performance management program

performanceYou don’t like your company’s performance management plan?  Join the crowd! Everyone’s getting into the act these days, bashing a process that has become ridiculously bureaucratic and totally unhelpful.

Managers complain and drag their heels or scratch the surface of the program by doing a bare minimum and, because of their lack of commitment, what they do makes the process unpopular and ineffective.  HR spends their time chasing after compliance rather than partnering on really improving performance.

Some organizations have recognized the need for a systematic change at the organizational level, and are making that happen. But if it’s not changing where you’re at, why are you waiting around for the organization to change the program?

You are bright, intelligent leaders who have achieved a position of responsibility for your team, right? Why not take the program you’re given and make it work for you? After all, it’s pretty simple: set good expectations, provide regular and honest feedback, and ideally improve overall performance. You don’t need a fancy system to do that. It’s Leadership 101. (more…)