communication

Staying Focused on What’s Important

Photo by  Elena Taranenko  on  Unsplash

Photo by Elena Taranenko on Unsplash

So you’ve figured out the three most important areas to your business this year, but now how do you stay focused on them? Ideally those themes are incorporated in your business planning for the year, but if you don’t have a written business plan, there are some simple ways you can keep these concepts front and center.

First, you can incorporate them into your regular, on-going communication with your team. As an example, your weekly or monthly ‘state of the company’ can include an update on progress made relative to the top three priorities.

Second, your management team meetings can include time for a monthly ‘gut check’ where the group challenges your commitment to those areas. As an example, if you’ve stated that improving employee morale is a priority, but you’re not allocating additional resources in this area, how is that going to happen?

And third, you can use those top three priorities to guide individual performance management plans. If the areas of focus are important to the company, everyone should be focused on them and looking at what role they can play in advancing them.

Effective Communication is Key to Performance Management

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When we hear the term ‘performance management’, many of us think of performance reviews which include numeric ranking scales or scorecards measuring various business measurements.  

While it’s true that effective Performance Management must include metrics in order to provide substance and accountability, the real key to performance management is communication.  Everyone including the business owner needs to have someone; a trusted advisor, board member or manager, to help them process the data that supports performance management.

Having performance data is just the first step.  Communication is needed to interpret the results, talk about successes, identify barriers, and determine next steps.  Because employees sometimes feel threatened when discussing their performance, it’s especially important to pay extra attention to how the message is being delivered and received.  Keeping an on-going and consistent dialogue going related to performance, will also make the conversations easier to have and less threatening to the individual.