Performance Management: Setting our Teams Up 2 Win

by Lia Zampetoglou, Hospitality Expert – Director of Learning & Development SETE Institute (INSETE)

Have you wondered if you have performance issues within your team? Here are 5 questions and if, at least one of your answers, is YES, then you may have such a concern!

  1. Are you team members in constant need for supervision?
  2. Does their work, often, require correction or completion by a 3rd person?
  3. Do they tend to avoid their fair share of workload and/or the boring parts of the job?
  4. Are they often absent or on sick leave?
  5. Do they not get along and/or cooperate well with their colleagues?

SETTING THE FOUNDATIONS OF AN EFFECTIVE COOPERATION

Have you ever heard of the Number 1 reason employees underperform? It is that they don’t know what is expected of them. This results not only in them being unsuitable, but also in them not having a clue about so.

During my 8 years as a Personnel & Training Manager of various hotels, employees would often come to my office to talk about challenges they were facing at work. No matter what the reason was, the ending was the same: the employee tried to persuade me of how good they are and how much the company does not appreciate their talent. So, we end up with an employee who feels that he is good at what he does, but is not appreciated for it. The easy conclusion is that he is delusional. But do you know what the problem is with this assumption? Even if he is indeed NOT GOOD, no one has ever told him that.

This means that the supervisor who is assigned to manage this employee has not only failed to manage, and therefore develop him, but also created a little monster, who walks around thinking he should be named Duke, while the reality is that everyone cannot wait for the season to pass by, so they don’t have to see him again. However, in the case where the employee is actually good at their job, but again he has not been told that their job is appreciated by anyone. Inevitably, this employee will become tired of begging for recognition and appreciation and will leave trying to get it elsewhere.

Consequently, we have lost a double opportunity:
  1. To turn a poor performing employee into a star performer OR
  2. To develop and inspire loyalty to a star performing employee

It is that simple.

HOW DO WE DO IT?

To start with, make sure that during the onboarding of an employee – be it a new employee or a repeater – you inform him about his positions’ goals and what you expect from his daily job. Investing – mostly TIME – to do that, you increase the possibilities to create team members who:

  1. Know exactly what to do, while like acting and learning.
  2. Have self-confidence right from the beginning.
  3. Will feel part of a team, recognized, taken care of and with career potential.
  4. Will return next year and save you from recruitment monetary and mental costs.

BASIC STEPS

DECIDE ON THE PROFILE OF THE RIGHT PERSON & BE PART OF HIS RECRUITMENT

Everything starts with the right person at the right position. This means that you have seriously thought and communicated to the recruiters (if it’s not yourself) the skills, attributes, competencies this person must possess.

ELIMINATE THE FACTORS THAT LEAD EMPLOYEES TO UNDERPERFORM

Which are these factors?

  1. The employee does not know what he needs to achieve.
  2. The employee knows what he needs to achieve but lacks the skills and knowledge in order to achieve it.
  3. The employee knows what he needs to achieve, possesses the skills and knowledge to achieve it, but lacks the tools and/or the conditions necessary to achieve it.
  4. The employee knows what he needs to achieve, possesses the skills and knowledge to achieve it, has the tools necessary to achieve it, but does not want to achieve it.

KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DEALING WITH

There are 3 basic categories, which require different management. Not everything is a case of training and knowledge. Do not mix and match.

Performance

A team member is not able to do the job and does not improve despite your help and support.

Conduct

A team member knows and is able do the job but is not following company policies and procedures.

Capability

The physical ability of a team member to fulfill his / her duties, i.e. health issues

PERFOMANCE MANAGEMENT PROCESS & FEEDBACK

It is very useful to have an official recording process for our performance management.  Still, daily Supervision and Feedback will always be the essential parts of a successful performance management process. We should focus on them.

TO CONCLUDE

  1. Define the competencies of the right person for the position. If you hire the wrong person, no matter how much you try to improve things, everything will feel like patches.
  2. Explain to your employees what you need from them using specific examples and ready solutions to the challenges (you know) they will face.
  3. Provide your employees with the materials, tools, knowledge and training, necessary to achieve their goals.
  4. Provide them with daily feedback, so that they are aware of what they are good at and what they need to develop.
  5. Develop the talents you already have in your teams, before you waste precious time and money looking for new ones. When it comes to finding new people or developing the old ones, same principle applies as with guests: Loyal guests cost less to find and spend a whole lot more!

Start with one step at a time, make it simple, clear and strategic. Sooner than later you will be a step closer to allowing your star performers to shine.

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