Goal: Inspire my Team. Regularly.
Great, But Not Good Enough!
Many of us have had bosses in the past who inspired us to stretch and reach higher levels of achievement. One of mine was Dave MacLaurin. One year my team had excellent results: a large manufacturing project had reduced costs by several million dollars, reduced cycle times by 50% and improved quality significantly. As Dave handed me my bonus he said “You had a good year. And it’s not good enough”. By being “not good enough” he explained I had raised the bar and he expected even better results next year. I got the message, set loftier goals for myself, and provided similar inspiration for employees…whenever I could.
The Dreaded Performance Review
As this year draws to an end, though, most managers are closing out the year…and that usually involves doing employee performance reviews. Yes…everyone loves performance reviews, don’t they? Or am I thinking of something else?
It’s no secret that most employees don’t look forward to these reviews, and few managers do. For many managers, it’s a chore. Something to get off the list to keep the boss or HR happy. If it’s treated that way, the results are likely to be disappointing. Employees may not really know how they performed: what they did well, the impact they made, or what they need to improve to become a more valuable employee or move up the ladder. So, mediocre results will continue: company performance won’t go up, staff won’t be energized…and your performance as a leader will be lackluster.
What if performance reviews were done differently? What if performance reviews gave people positive and negative feedback, recognized their contribution and inspired them to greater levels of performance? What would that do for the company? What would it do for employees? And what would it do for you as a leader?
This doesn’t work for everyone…some people are content just to do a good job. But many people get excited and energized by stretch goals. And when they get excited they perform better, which is good for them, the company and you as their leader. Try this…and don’t do it just once a year. Inspiration never gets old.