Leadership expertises

Performance Management

“Individual performance is not the most important thing.
We lose and win as a team.”

Zinedine Zidane

Leadership expertises

Performance management, micro-management.

For many people, when we talk about performance management, it means managing “my” individual performance; and then all the questions such as “how can I improve my performance at work? ». Performance management is associated with the processes of defining individual annual objectives and the development plan; and during the year, regular sessions of individual interviews; with the end-of-year session that establishes the balance sheet and generally means a performance evaluation. For some, this is called individual performance management; for others, it is skills and talent development.

Today, our focus is on performance management at a collective level. Managing performance means answering this question: how, as a team or as an organization, can we be sure that we are moving, step by step, towards the objectives we have set ourselves, towards this vision we have defined and this will to achieve? Are we “winning” or “losing”?  Managing performance means making sure, on a very regular basis, that each step we take, each step we take, allows us to get even better and closer to what we want to achieve or deliver.

Let’s take the analogy of a car journey. For this journey, we know our starting point (where we are) and our destination (our goal). Then, even before leaving, we will check some parameters (like the state of the tires and the fuel gauge for example). If we take the time to check these elements, it is because they are indispensable elements that will ensure that we reach our destination. All along the way, while driving, we will keep an eye on the dashboard, the mirrors and the road ahead. Again, these are elements that tell us that we are moving in the right direction. All these elements that we “check” regularly reassure us that we are progressing or potentially indicate a risk or a problem (which we will then have to deal with).  In short, we manage our own performance in reaching the destination.

The same is true in business – it is important for us to regularly check all our indicators (the dashboard), the lessons learned from the past (the looks in the rear-view mirror) and the congruence of objectives (the destination). Having this regular look is important and necessary, living this look at team performance and making sure that everyone contributes, according to their role, talents and skills, to reaching the destination is key. This is not about “micro-managing” everyone’s agenda, but about ensuring that together we are able to achieve results, address risks, turn problems into opportunities and celebrate successes, together.

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Leadership expertises

Challenges of performance management

In order to manage performance, it is important to first of all have a good understanding of the objectives to be achieved and the key processes or projects that will enable us to achieve these objectives, just as in the analogy below, without knowing the destination, nor the means of transport to get there, it is impossible to imagine the journey

When these elements are clarified – and if they are not, then our leadership mission requires us to start by creating that vision – the first challenge will be to transform the vision into operational deployment. Because without any idea of the journey’s itinerary, it is difficult to define the means of locomotion or otherwise. Transforming the vision into operational deployment is therefore one of the prerequisites for managing performance. This deployment will integrate the definition of clear objectives and measurement indicators. These are the elements that will then enable us to establish our dashboard (which indicators, reviewed at what frequency).

Implementing performance management is teamwork and collaboration.  Together, it is important to define both the governance (how often do we review performance, which makes sense in relation to the objectives) and the visual we want to share; because a drawing is better than a long speech…

It takes time to “find” both the right visual that speaks to everyone and the right frequency of meetings. All the teams will work on a “trial and error” basis. The challenge is not to change too often – sometimes it takes time to establish new habits – and not to be stubborn when you see that something doesn’t work.

Implementing performance management also means daring to highlight “worries”, “problems”, “delays”, “conflicts” because every element that flues, creaks or jams the system is in fact a gift that allows the team to improve.

This is a challenge in itself since our education has taught us to strive for perfection and to fix our mistakes without disclosing them too much; performance management requires us to dare to announce what might go wrong or the problem we collectively face. This is a human challenge.

Regardless of the sector of activity, every company, every organization has this need to ensure that it progresses in a way that meets its objectives and commitments. Managing its performance in a simple, effective and humane way is probably one of the opportunities today to simplify governance and the number of meetings.

During the leadership development program, performance management is approached collectively along the way, at the organizational level, by carrying out your specific cycle of creating a vision, its operational deployment and the implementation of visual performance management. In addition, during the individualized coaching, you will have all the freedom to work specifically on the declination of this management for your team, discuss it with your coach and even plan a team workshop for implementation.

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