Who Owns Performance?

Michael Gallagher, .

A man holding out some keysA favorite question I often ask business owners or senior managers after discussing their company’s priority business goals is “if I asked your first line supervisors or employees what the most important objectives here are, what would they tell me?” Typically, after a little silence, the more honest ones answer “I don’t know.” The point of course is twofold:

1. Has management taken the time to define progress in terms of very specific metrics?

2. Has ownership of those objectives been passed to the people who produce the company’s products or services?

Performance Reviews: How Do They Differ Between Managers and Non-Managers?

Michael Gallagher, .

pen and paperOne of the most critical aspects of leadership is conducting effective performance reviews. Performance is the key component of an effective organization. Performance can mean meeting profit expectations, introducing effective marketing strategies, and hiring and mentoring high quality personnel. However, it is clear that without the latter, exemplary staff, the former components cannot be realized. Furthermore, the management of effective human resources is dependent on clear, consistent and effective performance reviews.

The focus of the assessment should be based purely on performance objectives.

Tying Feedback to Performance Objectives

Michael Gallagher, .

targetWhen a company hires me as a consultant, I ask to see their performance review plan. If there is no plan in place, then this is where my work with the organization begins. A performance review plan must be tied to performance objectives. In other words, if there are no clear performance objectives, then there is nothing to which to tie your employee performance review. The employee, in dialogue with the manager, should direct their activities to these predetermined and mutually agreed upon set of objectives. You cannot evaluate employee performance without a clear link to the objectives of the organization.

Performance objectives evolve from the initial job description. For example, an account manager or a sales manager may have similar generic objectives including familiarity with client needs, communication with the client, delivery of services/products and customer satisfaction.

4 Steps to Building a Happy Team

Michael Gallagher, .

There is unprecedented diversity in the workforce; there is also a gap between the values at one end of the spectrum and those at the other. Traditionalists live to work; younger employees work to live. These workers expect to be happy at work. Their grandparents or great-grandparents would have found this an absurd requirement; employment was a privilege. Traditionalists needed the job; today, the workforce needs Gen Y. Keeping them happy is not just nice; it’s a must for attracting and retaining top talent.

Good vs. Good: Managing Conflict Between Reliable Employees

Michael Gallagher, .

Two people sitting across the table glaringConflict is easy to deal with; nothing could be easier. When you know one party is in the right and the other is in the wrong. When you know one party is reliable, truthful, and hardworking, and the other is not. But what happens when valuable employees are engaged in conflict? Whether it is over a specific project or they have clashing personalities, it can be tough to referee these matches. Rather than taking sides, talk solutions.

Managing conflict between two (or more) good employees tends to swing along the pendulum; it is either much easier, or it is much more difficult. The challenge for managers and supervisors is to avoid being seen as choosing sides as far as outcomes and solutions are concerned.

The Importance of Supervisory Skills Training

Michael Gallagher, .

lightbulbIs it money that makes people stay at their jobs? Is it money that makes them leave? Surprisingly, no. Most often, people leave because they feel they are not valued or challenged. They are not getting the proper training; they feel they are not developing as a professional. Many companies are hesitant to offer extensive training because they fear it will prompt employees to look elsewhere for higher paying positions. In reality, training is one of the best ways to increase retention. It is also one of the best ways to implement change.