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Get Great Performance from Your Team

Get Great Performance from Your Team
Your goals are set. Can you and your team meet them?  Here are some important ideas on how to get great performance next year from your team.
Clarify Goals:  Each key manager on your team needs very precise targets.  How else can they aim accurately?  Example: It is not enough to agree that sales should increase 20%.  You both need to agree on specifically how this will happen.  Through new channels? Strategic alliances?  Deeper penetration of current customers?  Fail to plan and plan to fail.  Define success, and achieving success becomes more easily doable.
Provide Appropriate Incentives:  Too many companies reward people for things they don’t do.  Vague, “discretionary” or company-performance focused bonuses don’t work.  Tie individual incentive compensation mostly to the achievement of specific individual results, and your people will be delighted each time they hit a goal.  Watch performance soar with a meaningful bonus plan.
Make Work Meaningful:  What is the purpose or mission of your company or your department?  How can you translate that to each person in your company, so that they each know exactly what their work accomplishes. How does their contribution impact your outcomes? Example: At our firm, we make sure our researchers know that we can only recruit and place “A” players if the quality of their sourcing work is top notch.  They take it more seriously when they know how that quality flows up the value stream.
Develop People:  You might be satisfied with where your people are now, because they are doing the jobs you need them to do.  But, what about their future?  Do you have a defined development plan for each person?  Successorship and bench strength are always listed on company goals, but we often see how that goal is not being fulfilled.  Each person should know what their potential path might be, and what support and resources might be available to help them get there (mentoring, coaching, continuing education, cross-training, new tools, etc.).  This helps keep them motivated to do the current job, anticipating what will come next.
True Teamwork:  Don’t let the word teamwork become a cliché at your company, and don’t be in denial if it isn’t happening.  Listen to your people.  Allow yourself to hear about the internal struggles and be a proactive leader in resolving conflict, improving communication, and in eliminating back-stabbing and inappropriate competition.  Lead by example and demonstrate what true teamwork looks like.
Don’t keep poor performers:  Keeping marginal performers on your team holds you, your company, and your “A” players back from achieving goals.  The cost of hiring mistakes are huge, but keeping someone on who isn’t performing is even more costly, because it bites into your projected growth and profitability.  Be ahead of the curve in improving your team, and see your market share and team performance increase.