[the writing below was posted this past January; it's obviously now nearly December!... How did you do? What will you do this coming year?]
Performance Assessment: "Beginning the drill - suffering through it (or) just getting ready to suffer though it huh?"
First of all, this is NOT an HR issue, but a LEADERSHIP issue. If you are in HR, bless your heart trying to make this system work with leaders who just don't do their job! Leaders do all this steadily, routinely and thoroughly the whole year long...
Lets make this simple & brief (as I can).
***First of all - this is NOT about the form or tool you are using, but the conversation(s) we are NOT having... Here's a process with those conversations in mind, BEGINNING WITH THE END IN MIND (as Stephen Covey said it).
GOAL: A successful, productive, fair, non-surprising, real, 'not-suffering' and growth-focused end of the year PERFORMANCE EVALUATION!
January - establish objectives/competencies to be used in the final assessment (this Dec / end of the year)
*Each month - two formal sit-downs will occur of at least 30 minutes each;
1) This one is on the accomplishments, #s, business results / job expectations established, etc. We might call this the WHAT meeting... a focus on his/her performance / what is achieved related to what they were hired for: sales, making widgets, making calls, producing stuff, serving..
2) This is the HOW meeting - how they did their job as far as relations, teamwork, responsibility, leader/follower relationship, professionalism, leadership potential, personal desires for the future, integrity, etc. No business/operational stuff allowed in this second meeting. A focus on the whole person and maybe even gathering some input regarding how YOU are leading him/her...
February - November: these two meetings/month conversations continue. By doing this each and every month, it allows the leader to be real, honest, candid and not inflate performance comments/numbers and their HOW-stuff. They can approach with the mindset of "if it was December, this is how I would evaluate you. However it is not, and you have ___ months to improve" This is about Continuously-Improving your most valuable system (PEOPLE SYSTEM).
December, end of the year / Final Performance Assessment: This is easy since it is just like the one in November with only minor tweaking. No negative, dreaded, procrastinated, stressful & distracting HR-drill this year for you Ol' MR/MRS LEADER (because you did your job all year round)!
The result? An honest, fair, easy, simple, accurate, non-surprising assessment of the whole person. And oh yeah, we will have no need to give everyone the same bonus, give everyone a max score, etc. -- all that stuff you are getting ready to do in the 2015 DRILL!
AND PLEASE, don't tell me you don't have the time to spend one quality hour per month with each of your MOST VALUABLE RESOURCES (people)?
Trust the Coach on this, YOUR PEOPLE-SYSTEM has bottlenecks causing waste, inefficiencies, low productivity and an impact on bottom line!
You see, teams and organizational operational systems both deal with what in the manufacturing world and quality analysis is known as ‘bottlenecks’.
So we’re on common ground, let me offer this definition for bottleneck: '...a point within a process/system where the flow and/or productivity is slowed down and where extra effort or resources must be expended to address the problem....' You won’t find that in Webster’s—but it will suffice to get us on the same page.
Now here’s what struck me as a new perspective on some old concepts regarding teamwork. Consider this for a moment – teams function much like any operation or process…. A PEOPLE-SYSTEM. It is a matter of everything being in sync, but instead of machinery and equipment, we are speaking of working relationships, roles and expectations understood, etc. Each operation (or person) must support others for teamwork to flow. When people function well together, the result is a highly efficient and productive process in terms of meeting goals and objectives.
That is precisely what team-building is all about, isn’t it? The challenge of improving and eliminating bottlenecks. Most teams have bottlenecks… and it is not productive to be sitting there thinking of Bob, Sue, or someone else that you probably view as a problem. We don’t address it by laying blame on players individually…although that may be the case. The bottom line is that we as people become the bottlenecks in people-systems and these have an impact on the overall success (pace, productivity, quality, etc) of the TEAM. Here are some of the bottlenecks that come to mind:
Message to Leaders? …to understand and realize the impact of bottlenecks on the team’s productivity and ultimate success. It’s not just what you should deal with… IT’S YOUR JOB!
Message to Team-members? (which we all are) …to take responsibility to help other members of the team peers) overcome their bottleneck…or yours! – it’s not just the leader’s job! The sooner we deal with them, the sooner we become a well-oiled machine, operation, system, and ‘TEAM’.
>>>Last but not least, when we do nothing about these situations, but just allow them TO BE, day after day after day, then we are practicing ‘insanity’. (defined by someone as: DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AND OVER, AND EXPECTING DIFFERENT RESULTS)…think about it. Take care, Doug
......A GODLY Leadership Moment, #2 (Don’t Worry)
DO NOT WORRY… "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear… Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? O ye of little faith…? Your Heavenly Father knows what you need. Seek first His kingdom & righteousness and all these things will be given to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow” MATTHEW 6:25-34
NOT WORRYING is a tough concept for all of us, no matter who you are! Leaders have to (and must) deal with this personally as well as for those they lead! In these challenging times with so much hopelessness, bad economy, terrorists, people/friends losing jobs, organization struggling, oil spilling, disasters here and there, people being laid off – who or what is next? Will it be you, a loved one or some of those you lead? It is nearly a daily occurrence to hear from someone close in our lives who has been impacted; I heard from a good friend and executive recently that is now out of a job. It’s everywhere, and we’re not supposed to worry?!? Indeed, this is one of the tougher biblical principles we are supposed to follow… YIKES, no that’s DOUBLE YIKES.
As leaders we are really needed by those we lead. As much as we may want to focus & dwell on our own worries, stresses, etc………..your folks need you & your leadership! A few points to share as I have been pondering this much lately:
A Godly Approach to Leadership: GROWING PEOPLE & TRUST!
(Whether you BELIEVE from a faith perspective or not, this IS applicable to YOU)
“…From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked...” LUKE 12:48
"…For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him….” MATT 13:12
“…As it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.” COR 8:1
These scriptures have application to both LEADER & FOLLOWER.
For the LEADER - who wants to further grow & empower his people; people must be given gradually increased levels of trust (competence or character trust). This is not only logical & biblical, it is your job - increasing the value of people. It prevents the leader 1) from being stuck where he/she is, 2) doing work a level-down & 3) obviously also stifling people’s growth under your leadership.
For the FOLLOWER – we must seek these kinds of opportunities (if not being provided); we must push this agenda with our leader(s) or we will remain ‘where we are’. This is in fact where many people sit - partly the fault of the Leader and partly our own fault.
For the LEADERS - This is not something to pursue without some thinking and planning.
NOTE: If you want the above referenced writings on 1) ETA or 2) TEACHING FISHING, …just holler!
Lastly, as you thought of all this 'wearing either the Leader or Follower hat' – try now switching hats!!?? If you were reading this from the standpoint of a LEADER, put on your FOLLOWER hat and think through the application of all this with ‘your’ LEADER! Are you being given more in order to be given even more?
What I love about this and nearly all other REAL LEADERSHIP TRUTHS is that so many play into & support my favorite quote:
“PEOPLE DON’T CARE HOW MUCH YOU KNOW UNTIL
FIRST THEY KNOW HOW MUCH YOU CARE.”
The challenge of such simple truths as this one is that so many acknowledge & nod as they read, while subconsciously recognizing this to be about ‘other people'.
Additionally it is hard to do much about this within a culture (workplace or any org.) because so often such seemingly-simple concepts of trust, relations and communicating is ‘stuff’ viewed as being for 'our leaders & people - down below'...
At senior or even executive level, it is 'stuff' so often discounted as being beneath me - "...my people need to learn about this." (as if leaders at the top don’t have the same bad practices, challenges and issues).
*IF you know me, you know this isn't about dogging execs, it is about learning and growing for ALL of us with a LEADERSHIP FOCUS for sure. IF you are a leader or hope to be one - learn these truths! Be these truths! Model these truths! These will then BE our truths!
Leadership is just that – LEADING from the front and from the top down.