One of the key areas of HR that contributes to the growth and development of an organisation is Performance Management. A commitment to developing the potential in your workforce, and helping them to achieve the highest levels of performance is crucial for organisational harmony and strong levels of employee engagement, which in turn have a positive impact on business.
At the recent Jobsite sponsored TedX Portsmouth learning event on Developing Human Potential, we were proud to showcase a presentation from Dr Chris Shambrook – a leading sports and business psychologist who has spent the last 15 years working with and coaching the award winning UK Rowing Team.
Below is his 17 minute talk – Serious about Performance – in which he looks at the fundamentals of developing human potential, and covers three main points…
Performance doesn’t mean Results
In most businesses we equate performance with results. If you ask someone how they are performing then they will give you their latest figures and metrics.
But performance doesn’t mean that, it covers the ingredients that will lead to success. If you define performance as results then you miss out on the opportunity to find out how much potential you’ve got and how to go about developing that to achieve results.
It’s about doing the things you need to do in order to get the things you want…in other words the inputs required to achieve outputs, not the output alone. If you have equal focus on the inputs and the outputs then how can you go about developing your people?
(This is covered between 1m,30s and 4m,30s in the video below)
Helping People Become Better at What They Do
At around 5m,30s we get an example of a football coaching session. Does the coach prepare his star striker by targeting the times of the goals he must score, the way he scores them, the number of tackles he makes? Of course not – the coach helps people to get better at what they do.
You don’t coach performance in sport by giving instruction over achievements – if you have to incentivise to influence behaviours in sport then it becomes corruption! (There is an example at 6m,45s of influencing a cricket match by asking for specific outputs at specific times). In business it is perfectly normal to performance manage with specific metrics to influence behaviours yet in sport this could signal illegal activity.
Is Feedback a Euphemism for Criticism?
In business how often does performance management happen because your results been poor…in other words you’ve been bad enough to warrant it? Performance conversations should happen on a daily basis – to restrict them to an annual meeting is merely paying lip service to a process. Neither should they focus on criticism or negative feedback.
The purpose should be to identify strengths, challenge the employee to get even stronger in those areas and focus on the strengths and qualities that they bring to the team.
All of this should be before you discuss weaknesses. Do athletes take their weaknesses to the starting line? Or do they take their strengths? By all means look at ways to improve weaknesses, but if all you do is get better at your weaknesses then you’re just making sure you don’t have bad day! Your team will be properly enhanced by exploiting your strengths.
(This is covered between 9m,30s and 12m, 10s in the video below)
The presentation certainly opened the eyes of the audience in terms of how to go about managing the performance of their employees and the best ways to use them as a springboard for motivating and inspiring.
Watch the video and let us know if there’s anything that you may do differently…