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New approaches to managing performance

New approaches to managing performance in your business explained by Head 4 Performance

be a great business conversationalistMany of the small businesses we work with are pushing the boundaries and traditional performance management processes just don’t fit with the way they work. Fast growing businesses need much more responsive, agile and conversation based performance management approaches aligned to their goals and their ever changing business context.

Our high growth businesses find that traditional approaches often with a ‘one size fits all’ tick box approach just doesn’t give the up turn in people’s performance they need to keep pace with their rapid growth. Business owners know people are one of their most valuable assets, and their focus is to support the people in their business and a critical element in achieving their goals.

If your team are to keep pace with the rapid change in your business then performance management needs to be wider than just the annual appraisal. Investing in your people’s personal and career development in line with your values in critical in driving your business strategies forward.

There is no one perfect solution, however, smaller businesses have the benefit of being able to create bespoke performance management frameworks which work and fit their business culture. The rigid processes used by bigger businesses just don’t fit with an agile business. Keeping your team engaged is crucial and using a rigid tick box rating system annually can be demotivating. It is important really understand what your business needs and create a range of approaches aligned to delivering your business goals.

We have encouraged the businesses we work with, to focus on using performance as a way to have great conversations. Leaders are then able to identify how they can build the capability of their teams and meet the ever-changing demands of their business. Great conversations are the foundation of good solid performance. Regular performance conversations means you can pick up any issues early, respond to the needs of your team and provide learning support when it is needed. Remember for your business it the “how”, not just “what” that sets your business apart. It is important to incorporate values and behavioural measurements alongside more traditional objectives in order to balance the “what” and the “how”.

Investing time with your leaders to establish a common and consistent understanding of expectations is a good place to start. We see that those businesses who are developing their leadership capability dealing effectively with long standing performance issues, addressing performance gaps and developing their teams to deliver business goals.

We work with businesses with to develop performance management approaches with an agile, “light-touch” approach. Instead of formal appraisals or twice-yearly reviews, our clients are seeing real performance shifts as a result of regular, supportive conversations. We encourage our clients to really understand their business needs and create bespoke, multifaceted approaches that fit with their business, rather than a “one-size-fits-all” solution.
For small businesses investing this time can be a challenge. It requires commitment from the owner and development of their leaders skills to have valuable conversations with lasting impact – not only to develop individual employees, but also deliver growth across the whole business.

If you are interested in building a great team and creating a sustainable business, people performance is what we do at H4P, so give us a call and we can discuss your specific needs.

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During these past 5 years I have consistently received excellent feedback regarding Sara and Jo’s ability to identify focused development solutions, great quality training and impactful delivery.
Steven EdwardsGrowth Manager – Leadership and Management TrainingOxford Innovation Services