RESOURCES

Managing Group Performance

In Leadership

By Maura Fay Learning

One of the things that often separates OK leaders from good leaders is that good leaders are able to look beyond just individual performance levels and assess group performance trends as well.

For our OK leaders, managing performance is all about identifying opportunities to improve individual performance. Where are they at? Why are they not where they need to be? How can I assist them elevate their performance? And so on. And for the best part this is an OK strategy.

For our good leaders or those with more experience, they have the knack of identifying trends early: trends which indicate that the performance issue might be more systemic than just with one individual. And they’re quick to analyse and put a macro plan in place while also addressing each of their team member’s individual needs. It’s a win-win!

So how do they do it? We have compiled a series of questions that leaders can ask to work through this analysis, when there are signs that the performance pattern extends beyond just one or two individuals. This analysis can be done as a lone exercise, or the questions can be used in pairs where one person asks the questions and the other responds in a coaching style interview. Of course there are so many questions, so select the ones that are most relevant for you.

For our good leaders or those with more experience, they have the knack of identifying trends early: trends which indicate that the performance issue might be more systemic than just with one individual.

Stage 1: Define The Performance Issue

  1. What exactly is the performance issue?
  2. When did this problem start?
  3. How long has this problem been a problem?
  4. What are the consequences caused by this performance issue?
  5. Is it affecting all team members?
  6. Is the performance issue all the time? If not all the time, when do you notice it the most?
  7. Describe the performance you would like to see happen.

Stage 2: Identify Causes

  1. Are your standards reasonable?
  2. Are your standards crystal-clear for your team? Does everyone know what’s required?
  3. Has your team “bought-in” to these standards? Do they agree with them?
  4. Are team members aware of the performance gap? Do they receive coaching/feedback from you when things are below-standard and positive feedback when things are on track?
  5. Do team members feel the pain of the performance issue?
  6. Could team members do what’s required if their lives depended on it?
  7. What are the obstacles? Conflicting demands? Lack of information? Lack of process? Lack of time with the team? Lack of authority? Lack of relationships? Lack of incentives?
  8. What have you tried so far that hasn’t worked?
  9. If there’s a team member demonstrating good performance, how are they doing it, while others aren’t?
  10. How might you be contributing to the problem? What, other than listed above, might you be doing to affect the issue?

Stage 3: Recommend Solutions

  1. What would happen if you did nothing? Is the pain of fixing this issue greater than the actual pain of dealing with the consequences?
  2. Given the performance issue, how much do you want to own the solution as opposed to putting it back on your team?
  3. Who are the experts in your network that might provide you with some solution gold nuggets? What would they say?
  4. Which obstacles can be most easily removed?
  5. Is there an obvious quick fix for now, until you work through a more fundamental solution?
  6. Given the causes and your understanding of the issue, what are the top 3-5 solutions that will have the greatest impact?
  7. What’s your next step from here?
  8. How will you communicate your solutions to your team?
  9. Once things get back on track, what could you do to prevent a potential drop in performance?
  10. What have you learned from addressing this group performance trend that might be applicable to other group performance trends in your team?

What are the obstacles? Conflicting demands? Lack of information? Lack of process? Lack of time with the team? Lack of authority? Lack of relationships? Lack of incentives?

This blog is taken from our Performance Leadership eBook. Download your copy today.

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