Manager Mint – Driving Results Through Performance Management

            Results. Every company on planet Earth has a primary focus on driving results whether they be financial returns, dividends, sales, customer service, lower expenses or any other category, strategy or goal. If organizations did not put a large focus on results they would produce little to no growth and over time with slowly become more and more irrelevant. Results drive vertical and horizontal growth in industries and create new ones.

There are three things that drive results, Managing your Expectations, Performance Management, and Accepting Change.

If you want to get any results you need to set goals or expectations. Without creating a vision of what you want to achieve you will have no direction in which to head. One you have set your expectation you need to review it and see if it is obtainable. An example would be hiring a new sales person and setting the expectation they will be your top producer in one month. Probably not going to happen. Expectations need to be realistic. If you hit 100% of your sales revenue goal in January 2015 then you could set the expectation that you will increase that business by 3% in January 2016.

Performance management is a topic that I could talk all day about and will elaborate further in another post in some time, however for this topic mentioning Performance Management is crucial. In order to get your expected results you need to manage the performance of your strategy or plan targeting key areas such as customer service, associates and your management staff. Customer service is a performance metric. All business, whether your B2B (business to business), B2C (Business to consumer), B2G (Business to Government), or C2C (consumer to consumer) have customers and in turn we are all consumers. Managing your customers service performance will increase your customer retention, increase your brand promotion as well as boost sales. Managing your associates means ensuring they are doing their jobs and not only that but they understand what results the organization is attempting to achieve and the why. The “Why” is so important to getting the maximum buy-in from your team members. If they don’t know why they are doing something they will tend to not care as much for the end result. Performance management of a team should consist of coaching that give a monthly review of someone’s progress or to address if there is a behavioral issues that needs correcting. An example of a behavioral issue would be someone who always missed vital information that is sent through email, because they neglect to read their email.This shows the associate that management will hold them accountable for their performance however, is willing to work with them to improve their performance and that they are not so easily thrown to the wayside for underperforming. Now if they continue to underperform and you are addressing it in your coaching then it shouldn’t be a surprise if someone has to be let go. Leave corrective actions for policy violations due to its negative connotation. Lastly, an organization needs to ensure that their managers are focused and engaged, as they are the implementer of the strategy and usually the responsibility of the results land upon their shoulders. If management is stagnant or unproductive it could easily influence other team members to be the same. An effective management team also have superior communication skills between one another to promote alignment and also maintain a level of transparency to the people they manage to increase trust. By having those characteristics in place, the management team can drive the results they need.

Albert Einstein once mentioned, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This may sound like common sense but by any means is far from it. Many companies and individuals fail because they cannot find out how to drive results in an ever-changing marketplace. You will hear, “I’ve been doing the same thing for years and it is always worked, I don’t know why it isn’t now.” That’s because your consumer changes In modern business, change has become commonplace for the most part, or at least with new businesses that have started up. Change is all about adaptations. Generations, marketplace, consumer trends; all of these change regularly. If you have the mindset that you can get up every morning and go and do the same thing over and over again and that your life or your business is going to improve you are wrong.  Organizations change based upon performance and brand image with their market place. Organizations change with there becomes issues with the means of employments. Organizations change to stay relevant in a fast paced world.

Lastly I will part with knowledge I learned about driving results. If you want to drive results you need to first look at an individuals experiences. Know that their experiences feed their beliefs. What has happened to them or for them has a direct influence on the results you are currently getting. Their beliefs drive their actions. People tend to do what they believe in. Lastly it is their actions that drive their results. Don’t try to drive results by attempting to change someone’s actions. First change their experiences and you will drive even better results.