Managing Performance: Helping staff to close the gap

Managing performance: Helping staff to close the gap

With the beginning of a new year, has your business been through a performance review process for your staff? Have you identified any performance gaps that need addressing to propel your team and your business to the success it deserves?

When assessing team performance, I often recall the adage of hire slow and fire fast! I for one think this philosophy is archaic and misleading. Yes, there are times when team members simply don’t work out, but rarely is this a one-way street.

When I hire someone, whether it is fast or slow, I don’t do it lightly, but do so on the basis that it is a partnership, one that I expect the person to bring their will and their skill, and one where as a business we take responsibility for training and supporting them to be successful in their new role.

Ray Dalio in his book Principles says hire people you want to spend your life with. You want to hire people as quickly as it takes to determine that they are the kind of person you want in your business. Once there, make sure you do all you can to support your staff, giving feedback and identifying any performance gaps so you can help them close those gaps, and not use against them. Address the gaps in the most compassionate and constructive way you know how, and if it doesn’t work out, try and find another role for them, hopefully in your business, but if not, do all you can to make them successful somewhere else.

I do believe that one of the least compassionate things you can do to a team member who cannot fulfil the role you need, is to leave them in that role. They will lose self-confidence, taking that feeling into their teams, and undermining your leadership as others will see someone in a role where they don’t belong. Worse of all, the person loses belief in themselves, taking that energy with them in all aspects of their life.

Reviewing the performance of your team is critical to a successful business. Identify performance gaps, and address them compassionately, for the sake of your business, and your team members.

This article was featured in the Hunter Business Review's February edition.

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