Performance Management–Yours or Your Team’s

Performance management through open-minded learning has always made good sense to me. Along those lines, I always enjoy reading insightful communications from professionals I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with and getting to know at least a little. One of those is Saeed al Muntafiq, a senior executive in Dubai who has a view of the business world that transcends geographical boundaries.

Performance Management and Developing Leaders

Performance Management–Breeding Thoroughbred Leaders: As Saeed’s article makes clear, he believes performance management isn’t something that happens just once a year. It’s an ongoing process. He offers 5 points that he says are an essential part of that process:

  1. It’s part of your culture – ….Performance management is a culture of transparency and openness that starts at the top.
  2. Positive Reinforcement – …it is essential for a person’s performance to receive positive re-enforcement….Continuous negative feedback festers in people and diminishes output.
  3. Real-time Feedback – …I do not recommend non-verbal channels such as email or SMS….Verbal still remains the best form of communication, as much as our increasingly-digital universe steers us against it.
  4. There is no such thing as negative feedback – I much prefer the term ‘improvement feedback’…. Of course, you need to have a transparent company culture that welcomes critical feedback before real-time verbal performance management can work.
  5. Have a party – Celebrate and reward success.

Saeed uses the analogy of breeding and training racehorses, but it’s clearly applicable to human beings in the workplace. If you are a manager/executive in a company, the points he raises are well worth considering. If you’re an employee who’s in the position of being managed, you could still take them to heart and benefit from them.

Whose Performance Management?

Assuming for the moment that you manage a team (or an entire organization), what are your goals for their performance? Some of those performance goals might be set by top-level management, in that they are expectations for your performance as the manager of that group. Others might be goals you believe are important that are not distinctly mandated from above.

Of course, you need to keep in mind the goals you will be expected to meet as a manager; however, you also need to consider that the goals you set for the members of your team must be clear and attainable. If you set expectations that require your team to stretch themselves, that’s likely to be a smart managerial move. On the other hand, if you establish goals that require them to leap over the moon, you could be setting them–and ultimately yourself–up for failure.

Considering performance management in the light in which Saeed presents it could help you make it work effectively and benefit both you and your team.

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