As we head to the close of Q1, many companies will sit to review their 2016 performance goals. In some cases, companies will begin to stress because these Q1 performance results will not meet the initial targets and they worry that their year will never recover.
Now some readers may wonder why having a poor Q1 can be good for a company, my feeling is that managers and teams really dig into employee performance when it is lacking and get comfortable when things are going well.
Failure seems to wake companies up.
Although this scenario cause worry, if you take some time and focus on the following 4 tips, you will be able to get your employee performance back on track to ensure your 2016 exceeds your expectations.
4 tips to get employee performance back on track
- Take emotion out of the equation.
Emotions can lead to generalized feedback to the entire team instead of targeting the real cause of the poor performance. This can adversely affect your top performers who know what results they are delivering. Review with your team what they did in terms of process, so that you can compare it to what was the expected behavior. Remember focus on specific actions not the people.
- Lock in Your Top Performers
On any team, there will be those who are achieving their goals. Take time to congratulate them. Make sure you review the behavior or actions that they performed in order to achieve their goals. By reviewing these actions, you are helping anchor in the behavior so they understand and can repeat what they are doing to generate the desired results
- Target specific behaviors for underachievers
Be very careful when you begin to work with those who are not achieving the results you need. Remember step one, focus on actions not on the person. Focus on specific things they did well and then begin to dive into understanding why the employee did not execute their responsibilities.
There are only three reasons someone is not performing the correct actions:
- The person was never trained correctly. If this is the case, then go back and train your team (Click for my 8-Step Coaching Process)
- They understand some of what they need to do. In this case, anchor in what they do know and re-train them on the actions they are missing.
- They fully understand what they are supposed to do. This can be very concerning but it usually means that something else is bothering them. Take the time to see if it is a personal issue outside of work or if they disagree with the process. Lastly it may be time to realize that they should not be in the job any longer. Either of these need to be addressed immediately.
- Shorten the follow up timetable
Once you have completed any of the first three steps you will need to follow up on your training. You need to make sure your top performers are continuing to lead the way and you need to make sure your adjustments are sticking.
I would recommend daily follow up on any re-training. If you find better performance you may expand the timetable for follow up. I would caution readers to keep a tight leash on follow up because it can be very easy to get comfortable with seeing an initial bump in results. This can lead to missing any drop in performance which can affect Q3 and Q4 and then it may be too late to make adjustments.
As in sports, there can be many reason why a team is behind in the first quarter. What great teams do is to take a moment and makes adjustments. They address the team and focus on where they can improve. The key is to keep a keen eye on the game as it progresses to make sure that when Q4 rolls around, your team is firing on all cylinders and when the game ends, you like what you see on the scoreboard.