Archive for August 2017

Conduct Simple Quarterly Performance Reviews

August 11, 2017

Students receive performance grades each three month long semester.  Public companies are required to report their performance each quarter.  Then why do most leaders review performance of direct reports annually or semi-annually?  This is particularly troublesome when studies have shown the typical leader writing a review only recalls performance over the previous six weeks.

The two biggest reasons given for avoiding quarterly reviews are: 1) leaders don’t have enough time to write the review, and 2) the performance review form is too difficult to use.  Use simple quarterly reviews for at least three of the four quarters in which the leader has the direct report fill out a one-page sheet of paper (5×7 cards work too) answering these four questions:

1.    What did you accomplish last quarter?

2.    What are you going to accomplish next quarter?

3.    How did you demonstrate our core values?

4.    What are your personal development plans?

Benefits: the leader spends little to no time writing the review, is not encumbered by any cumbersome form, and the direct report has committed to the next quarter’s expectations.

Leaders who use simple quarterly reviews to empower direct reports have more success.

Establish Success Factors For Direct Reports

August 4, 2017

Success: (noun) the accomplishment of an aim or purpose – The New Oxford American Dictionary

How do leaders know success when they see it?  In athletics, a look at the scoreboard or standings shows who’s successful.  In school, report cards indicate success.  Businesses use the balance sheet or income statement to determine success.  The pursuit of success inspires hard work, sacrifice, and a commitment to improve.  Leaders must put in measures for their direct reports’ success.

A job accountability matrix defines a job’s accountabilities and corresponding success factors.  Without measurable success factors, direct reports do not know if they have accomplished their aim or purpose.  Documented success factors inspire direct reports to work hard, sacrifice, and improve.

Some common success factors are:

  • Zero voluntary turnover of ‘A’ players
  • Continued reduction of processing errors
  • Attended meetings on-time, prepared, and engaged
  • On-going increase in add-on sales
  • Weekly status reports submitted on-time and accurately
  • Positive (lack of negative) customer feedback

Leaders who empower their direct reports by establishing and updating success factors experience more accomplishments.