Managing that High Performing Team

Recruiting, selecting, employing and training the right people is what it takes to build a team that satisfies your customers.  This takes both time and money, which initially seems to be worth it with all the enthusiasm the new employee brings to the team.

How do you, as the business owner, keep the enthusiasm, excitement, and commitment to your business goals ‘top of mind’ with every member of the team? 

This is the task that many business owners and managers tend to procrastinate with because it can be uncomfortable and/or time-consuming, as it involves discussing work performance, particularly poor work performance. Most managers are comfortable thanking staff for work that has been well done but avoid or delay the discussion about unsatisfactory work. This where the team’s motivation levels drop, and customers can be lost.

It does not have to be like this.  We can use a process that all parties understand and can benefit from. There are also several positive spin-offs that assist in the critical areas of business strategy, planning & implementation.

Pre-Recruiting and Selection

The process starts with an analysis of the job to be done. This analysis provides the basis of the Job Description. The Job Description is then used to create the specification of the type of person who will be able to perform the job (Job Specification). We create our job advert based on the Job Specification and ultimately employ the best candidate available for the job to be done.  We do not select the candidate we like most. 

Training Programs

The Job Description sets out what needs to be done and assists to clarify what training will be required. We then draw up a Training Program that covers what needs to be learned, who will provide the training, what resources are needed (System access etc); where and when it will take place and how the results of the training will be measured.

Performance Review and Planning (PRP)

During a new employee’s first few weeks, we review work performance and progress on the training program, and we do this every two weeks. In its simplest form a PRP session consists of working through the Job Description with the employee and making notes of training needs and any other actions required to assist the employee to meet the standards of the job.

A Performance Management or Performance Appraisal Document can also be used in place of the Job Description. This is usually a more detailed document, and it sets out the standards required for each task; when due, quality, who to receive the work etc (results should be easily measurable).

Each task can also be ‘rated’ in terms of the level of performance E.g. A = Excellent, a standard rarely encountered; B = Consistently above average results; C = Satisfactory – met the requirements of the job; D = Important elements of the task/job have not been met; E = Poor performance – unacceptable level of performance.  It is important to encourage and recognise progress/good results. Remember – we praise in public and reprimand in private.

Existing and high performing employees also need regular PRP sessions. It is an opportunity to review work processes, look for process improvement and most importantly, thank the employee for their consistent hard work. It is also a great time to remind the employee of the company goals, the company progress towards its goals to date and, how the employee’s efforts assist the business in reaching its goals.

A Personal Development Plan incorporating the employee’s aspirations, as well as the business’ needs should be created and reviewed at least quarterly. If you are not involved in charting your high performers careers, then do not be surprised when they do it themselves.

For more information on this complex and valuable Business Development Process, contact Len Blazey Consulting Ltd today.