1 ROPELLA TM GROWING GREAT COMPANIES ExE cutive WhitE PaPEr Performance Take Charge Management of Your Career Ideas If left unchecked, Think your of career a performance can seem management like a runaway system train, as taking a tune you up on for a path your that you hadn t department it planned on, and helps running keep over everything in check in its path and ensures along the that way. all components are running as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
2 Management A Ropella Executive White Paper Performance Management Ideas Performance Management. Ask ten different managers what it means to them, and it s likely you ll get ten different answers. Some see it as a substitute for an annual review, some view it as a way to keep tabs on employees and their progress, while still others view it in a more broad sense as a system that helps employees and companies reach their potential. Whatever your take on performance management is, there is no question it s a hot topic for managers in the chemical industry. The reason? With most chemical manufacturers experiencing recent growth, the number of employees is on the rise. In order for these organizations to maximize the potential of the workforce, there needs to be an organized process in place. Think of implementing a performance management system as a tune up for your department. It helps keep everything in check and ensures that all components are running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. If you re interested in raising the caliber of performance in your organization, consider these 10 tips to get people to start delivering exceptional results: 1. No Excuse is an Acceptable Excuse Most managers are too tolerant of excuses. Don t be. An excuse means the job didn t get done. And if you are truly committed to results, then you cannot be willing to accept excuses. Acceptance allows failure to persist. While it may sound cold and unfair, when you stop tolerating excuses, you force people to deliver solutions. 2. Think in Terms of Priorities Get people in your organization to think in terms of priorities instead of excuses. The next time you hear, I didn t have enough time, try substituting this excuse with, I m sorry, it was not a high enough priority. This simple change of perspective will help you better manage your time and responsibilities, and eliminate the number one excuse in business. 3. Make Mistakes Acceptable As a rule, employees don t like to report bad news because they fear the repercussions. If employees fear repercussions, they are less likely to be honest and more apt to make excuses. People have to feel free to say, I made a mistake. So to get excusefree behavior, make mistakes acceptable and treat them as opportunities for learning. Don t look to place blame, instead, focus problem discussions on what and why issues, not who. And be willing to praise and recognize risk-takers, even when the outcome fails to achieve desired results. 4. Create Clear Expectations Establish mutually defined expectations for job performance. Explore what success and failure look like for each position in your company. Ensure that every job and project has specific, measurable goals (more on this topic later in the article). 5. Connect the Dots People are much more motivated to succeed when they feel connected to the big picture and understand why they need to do something. As a leader, it is your responsibility to show them how their actions have a direct impact on the company s success. 6. Acknowledge Responsibility Hold people s feet to the fire. Require them to commit to their responsibilities in writing. And even more importantly, follow up to ensure commitments are met and to establish accountability. 7. Plan Contingencies Never ignore Murphy s Law. Things can and will go wrong.
3 Take time to anticipate potential problems and set contingency plans. A proactive approach to problem solving virtually eliminates opportunities for future excuses and maximizes the probability of success. 8. Pay for Performance While it s fine to recognize people for hard work, reward them for results. Structure reward systems to only provide tangible incentive compensation based on achieving measurable results. Ideally, offer rewards on an all or nothing basis. Simply put, if the goal is not FULLY met, no reward is earned. 10. Conduct Project Post-Mortems At the end of every project, debrief your employees. If they succeeded, praise them and discuss why the project was a success. If the employees didn t succeed, turn the failure into a positive learning experience. Performance Coaching Every successful team is led by a great coach. To become a championship caliber coach, take the following steps: Meet with your managers regularly at least once a week. Limit meetings to 20 minutes. Stick to a fixed agenda, in which you: Exchange weekly goals, review the previous week s successes and failures, and identify needs for the coming week. Ask direct reports about the best and worst things that happened last week to reinforce the positives and discuss ways to eliminate the negatives. Plan for challenges in the coming week and offer support where it will be needed. Specifically ask your direct reports what they will need from you to be successful this week. 9. Create Support Systems Let the employee know where to get help when problems arise. Failure most often occurs when employees don t know how or where to get assistance. Even superstars need coaching (in fact, you re often better served by investing more time and resources in improving superstars than fixing problem employees). Provide your employees with the resources they need to get things done. These resources may include in-house or off-site training, formal mentoring programs, and internal help desks and expert directories listing people who can be called for assistance about specific issues. Management by Objectives So far, the principles of performance management sound pretty straightforward, right? Well, if you re interested in taking things to the next level in order to ensure that your department runs like a well-oiled machine, it is wise to invest time a little more of your time in the goal setting component of the performance management system. This, by far, will give you the biggest payoff. One means of setting goals and managing the outcomes of those goals is referred to as Management by Objectives, or MBO. The term was first popularized in 1954 by Peter Drucker in his book, The Practice of Management. Drucker summarized that it is all too easy for managers to fall into the trap of carrying out everyday tasks, and fail to focus on the real task of outlining the big picture of what it is that everyone is trying to achieve. MBO is a process that requires specific written descriptions of objectives and timelines for achieving those objectives. The process involves a great deal of input from each individual
4 employee as to what they will attempt to achieve during a specific time frame, and provides an open forum of discussion in which the manager can gain buy-in, or commitment, from the employee. According to Drucker, objectives should have the following characteristics: Focused on a result, not an activity Consistent Specific Measurable Related to time Attainable Superior Results for You and Your Team If you re serious about driving performance in your organization, start by developing an appropriate performance management system for your organization. The next step is to focus on specific and measurable goal setting, a process structured around the practices of MBO. With a little organizational fortitude, you will find that you can help further the individual development of each member of your team, improve your own management potential, and more easily attain company wide objectives. more of your time in the goal setting component of the performance management system. This, by far, will give you the biggest payoff.
5 AbO u T PATRICk ROPEllA Chairman & CEO, The Ropella Group Phone: Website: ROPELLA TM GROWING GREAT COMPANIES Ropella, with 25 years experience, is the leading executive search and consulting firm specializing in the chemical, consumer products, technology and energy industries. We help many of the world s largest companies find, hire, develop and retain their most important people. We recruit globally in sales, marketing, R&D, and manufacturing, from middle management to the most senior executive levels. At Ropella, not only do we find great leaders, we can also help you build a stronger, more competitive, and more innovative team with our Leadership and Organizational Improvement consulting services. Nothing is more important to your company s ability to create value than the right blend of talent. Call us today and put our people and our process to work for you. Having dedicated his career to helping companies across the globe in sourcing, marketing to, assessing, recruiting, on-boarding, retaining, training and transforming top talent, Patrick Ropella has a global perspective on Executive Search and Talent Management. He has worked across all roles and functions, cascading from the top levels of management to also placing apprentices coming straight out of college. Over the past 20+ years he has seen many individuals he s personally assisted make career transitions, become well trained leaders, join the C-suite at many of the world s largest corporations. His experience within the global chemical industry as a dominant talent management leader allowed his firm, Ropella Group, to grow to the leading position it now holds with a wide variety of corporate clients with the chemical industry, transition to serving major consumer product companies, energy companies, Nano, Bio and other high technology companies. Patrick has traveled extensively, meeting with middle level to C-level executives at the top 100 largest chemical and consumer product companies in the world, branding the Ropella name globally. He has successfully placed hundreds of senior level executives with top name companies, including but not limited to: DOW, DuPont, Exxon, Georgia Pacific, SONY, Anderson Windows, GE-Silicone, P&G, Clorox, Pfizer, BASF, PPG, Monsanto, Revlon, Baxter Labs, Sealy Mattress, Ciba Geigy, Johnson & Johnson, Shell, Sherwin Williams Paints, New Balance Tennis Shoes, and many more. Patrick has written for a wide variety of trade publications, newspapers and business journals on subjects related to the topics covered in The Right Hire. His writings have also been published in Germany, Italy, Latin America and Asia. Patrick and Robbie reside in Milton, FL. with sons Richard and Robert nearby. The Right Hire The Right Fit The Right Team Over 50 published articles Patrick Ropella s SMART Talent Management System focuses on training Human Resource leaders and Hiring Managers based on the core Talent Management topics of: Sourcing, Marketing, Assessing, Recruiting, Retention, Training, and Transformation.
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