Martin Summerhayes (martinsummerhay) wrote,
Martin Summerhayes

Performance Management - Managing teams to deliver outcomes

"To lead people, walk beside them ... As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honour and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate ... When the best leader's work is done the people say, 'We did it ourselves!'"
— Lao-tsu

I have in the past 6 months taken on a group of people and started to create a team. There are 69 people in the group and I have 19 direct reports. Yes, 19.

The company I work for has a set of processes to manage people and to reflect their work related activities in what is known as an annual review. Once a year, there is a formal performance evaluation of each person in the company, carried out by their line manager. You, as a line manager of people, have to review their performance against the objectives that you have set them; gauge their effort, outcomes and results; and then give them a performance rating. This performance rating is then used to set the salary for the next year. The process works like this:

Start of Year:
Assign objectives based on the overall plan of the company cascaded down the organisation

During the Year:
Review the objectives against a set of criteria and the individual persons performance

End of Year:
Review performance against the objectives; assign a performance rating; use the performance rating to set the salary increase; review the next year objectives and start all over again.

That is the theory, how does it work for me in practice?

I took over the teams and organisation about 6 months ago. I reviewed the objectives for the organisation and also for the teams and the direct reports I have. I could not change the objectives as they are set once a year. However, I used a set of spreadsheets to document the objectives, the gaps against the organisational goals as the previous head of service had not understood what was needed and then tracked these ongoing.

I carried out monthly 1-1’s with each of the 19 direct reports. Yes, I spent time talking to; discussing and reflecting on their issues, needs, challenges and why things could not be achieved. An hour per person every month set aside in my diary. At the start, it was often an hour, or even more. Now it is an average of 30 minutes. I allowed everyone to contact me directly via phone, e:mail, messenger, and text. Have they, very little.

I have used the objectives spreadsheet mentioned above as part of the input to this year’s appraisals. The reflection is that the appraisals have been more looking at results. People have not questioned my reflection of their performance and overall the results speak for themselves.

Results: Every performance measure met – Clear by phone of calls above 10%; answer time within 60 seconds over 95%, abandonment rate less than 1%. Shift left of calls 24,000 calls and a financial saving of £1.7m……..

Something I have actively shared with the team.

Tags: performance management, work, zen buddhism

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