Employee Engagement – Why tolerate “OK” managers and then launch initiatives to be “World Class”?
For many people the phrase ‘performance management’ cast a dark shadow of negativity over any engagement between leaders and the led.
Employees know it is rarely used for the process of continuous consistent feedback; they see it as a formal “get better or else” event.
It may also indicate the management team’s daily language and culture concerning individual feedback. A manager’s key role is to make people the best they can be.
Performance feedback must a true balance of good and not so good news; which for some managers is not easy.
Surely enhancing employee’s performance is less about forms and performance audits and more about people talking to people. The absence of regular open and honest conversation is invariably found to be the root cause of all ‘people problems’.
Managers must clearly understand the need to fully engage with all of their people, including those they don’t like, and some that they are scared of. The solution is simple, just not easy.
Organisations cannot permanently tolerate managers that are universally agreed to be just OK.
World Class, Class Leading, Best in Class performance, and all the other phrases beloved by those who talk a lot; are not delivered by OK Managers.
Could it be that team’s performance rarely exceeds OK because every day their manager disappoints them with indecision, no feedback, and irregular engagement and communication?
Key actions for a Managers improvement plan could be;
- Produce generic roles and responsibilities for leaders and managers; include culture.
- Ensure each manager carries out a 360 degree appraisal of their competence for each of the generic roles and responsibilities defined.
- Use the 360 output to create an individual learning and development programme for each manager.
- Ensure existing operational progress revue meetings are used to give feedback about performance as well as progress. Create an appraisal habit not an ‘event.’
- Have structured meetings, with mutually agreed agendas, objectives, and minutes.
- Change the Managers or ….Change the Managers.
Managers of Managers
In short, it is every employees right to be well led and well managed, providing them with poor managers says more about an organisations senior team than it does about its managers.