Providing a supportive, motivating ethos at work has been an ongoing theme of this blog since A is for Approachable and it’s nowhere more important than in managing performance.

Most people thrive on the satisfaction they get from doing a good job and managers can increase that satisfaction by making sure that everyone knows exactly what they should be doing, how they should be doing it and what the expected outcome should be. Not rocket science, but understandably not always our first priority when we’re busy with strategic, financial or compliance concerns.

It comes down to a balancing act between the task we need to achieve and the team we need to achieve it through. If we pay too much attention to the task and not enough to the team, the task will not be achieved in the way we want it to be.

When people are not exactly sure of their objectives, not always informed of everything they need to know to do their job, and don’t feel able to talk openly about the difficulties of completing their work, their performance starts to suffer.

There are huge advantages in keeping communication open and giving constructive feedback frequently so that everyone knows how they are doing. If performance dips, it is much easier to investigate why and discuss it with the person concerned if we are generally supportive and encouraging. We’ve all heard; “the only time the manager talks to me is when they’re criticising something I’ve done…”

Celebrate good performance and emphasise how it helps the team and the organisation grow and succeed. Set aside time to evaluate processes and outcomes with the team  to see if they can suggest improvements.

You will be rewarded with high performance – it doesn’t get better than that!