January 24, 2011

Performance Management - Do You Ever Wonder Why?

Do you ever wonder why your managers and supervisors fall short of being truly effective leaders?  Do you question why your latest leadership seminar did not achieve the results you expected?  And, do you wonder just what it takes to develop the leadership capability that your bottom line depends upon (your leadership talent is critical to your organization's success)? The answers are simple and budget friendly. It takes three actions…….DONE WELL:
1. Assessment…..you have to understand developmental needs
2. Intervention….through targeted learning & coaching
3. Accountability…..using performance measurement & feedback

Assessment:  You can determine the learning & development needs of your managers and supervisors for very little budget.  This feedback can include both quantitative and qualitative understanding of both strengths and weaknesses including suggestions for improvement (do more of this, do less of that, or maintain).  If you skip this step (& most organizations do), you are very likely to spend budget on something that may not be needed and, worse yet, will not close the necessary leadership performance gaps. Use an assessment method for 30 days to see how effective it is in identifying performance gaps, determining learning needs, and developing leadership capacity. 

Intervention:  There are more options available today…..we know the solution is not always a workshop or seminar.  In fact, we all understand clearly that a single learning event will have very little effect on the desired future performance.  We now know more about coaching & mentoring (sometimes all this takes is a little time and focus to organize…and no budget), there are online learning programs for continuous development, webinars, & virtual learning communities.  ProStar Coach provides a dynamic, interactive online learning community; it is a totally new kind of online subscription for improving professional/personal development skills.

Accountability:  This is where most organizations fall short. Here is what usually happens: a learning focus is decided and then a decision is made to "throw" some training at it, and then we sit back and hope for the best…..we hope the training "takes" hold and that change happens.  This is like taking your budget and tossing it up in the air and hoping it lands where you want it to.  The result is a very low ROI for the effort.  Learners must understand that they will be held accountable for improving and closing identified performance gaps.  This is where your Performance Management Program enters the picture.  Reassessment is an important part of insuring accountability for ongoing development. People want and need constructive and accurate feedback.  If you are serious about leadership development, it is important to provide more than the annual "anecdotal" feedback conversation.

A quality Performance Management Program includes a clear understanding of current skills and talent, a targeted intervention with a variety of learner options, and reassessment to assure accountability and continuous developmental progress.  It really is that simple.

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