Tag Archives: performance assessment

How to Drive Elite C-Suite Performance

In a traditional performance evaluation, someone is assigned to compile and review with each executive a summary of her/his strengths, contributions, growth, and opportunities for improvement. The traditional process has many weaknesses which are summarized in this article recently published by Flevy.com, such as:

  • Compiling a quality performance assessment is difficult; consequently it often gets put off to be done at the last minute but it also takes time to do a good job and time runs out.
  • Assessment content tends to be arbitrary based on ability, skills, and perspective of the reviewer and may not represent the best thinking or interests of the team.
  • Reviewers tend to avoid raising and dealing with tough matters that should be addressed aggressively because it is uncomfortable and they are not trained or motivated to do otherwise.

Continue reading How to Drive Elite C-Suite Performance

What to do when an employee no longer cuts it.

Two PeopleBefore terminating an employee for poor performance, first double and triple check that the real problem is not that  expectations are undeveloped, unclear, or not understood and aligned with abilities and interest.

Resist the temptation to reassign the person to another part of the organization in order to not have to deal with the matter. Instead collect, consolidate and review input from the team with respect to what s/he is good at doing, what s/he has recently contributed, how s/he has grown, and what s/he should focus on doing and accomplishing next.

Validate that the assignment is a good match with employee skills, interests, and experience. If it is, but performance lags, it may be due to distractions or lack of drive. Talk through with the person, tweak incentives if needed, and, if lack of attention and effort is the problem, insist s/he focus on what has been asked. Continue reading What to do when an employee no longer cuts it.

How a top team spent a little time and took a big step to the next stage of growth.

Skills by stageBackground

Leaders of fast growing, early-stage organizations operate at a fast pace. Often the last thing there is time to do is assess the top team’s performance to determine how to prepare them for the next stage of growth.

Most team members know each other pretty well. They have a good idea what each other is good at, has contributed, how they have grown, and what each should focus on next for success. However, team members rarely have the time, energy, training, or nerve to share what they know in a forthright, supportive conversation with one another.

Yet there are serious consequences to not providing feedback when it is needed most. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “How To Tell If You Are a Jerk in the Office” (C-Suite Strategies, Journal Report, Feb 23, 2015), for example, highlights the importance of confidential feedback for executives. Not only are leaders and co-workers affected adversely by dysfunctional behavior but business performance and customer service can be damaged, often permanently, if poor behavior continues.

IntelliVen, a San Francisco-based organization improvement firm, uses a proprietary approach to help leaders and their top teams address top executive feedback head-on. Early this year, for example, IntelliVen worked with a rapidly evolving, $10M financial analytics firm serving Freddie Mac, US Treasury, and Capital One among other leading US financial institutions. The IntelliVen approach was used to assess the top team of senior executives relative to norms for successful organizations at a similar stage of evolution and to identify individual and team opportunities for learning.

Continue reading How a top team spent a little time and took a big step to the next stage of growth.

How to get on track to success with a team member performing poorly.

If a team member performing poorly relative to expectation, the team’s leader should first make sure basic tenets for success have been established using best contracting and governance practices.

  • As the team’s leader, ensure that you:
    • Know what the team counts on the team member to do
    • Believe s/he has the ability do it.
    • Want him/her to do it.
  • Validate that s/he:
    • Knows what the team is counting on him/her to do
    • Believes s/he has the ability do it.
    • Wants to do it.
  • Verify s/he has what is needed for success; including resources (e.g., time, money, space), knowledge, experience, systems, and access to experienced advisors.
  • Ensure there is sufficient incentive to perform up to expectation.
  • Provide governance; i.e., every month or so, ask him/her to tell you:
    • What s/he is trying to accomplish
    • What has been done towards that end
    • What has been the result of those efforts
    • What has been learned
    • What s/he plans to do next.

Continue reading How to get on track to success with a team member performing poorly.

How to give employees feedback while also showing they are known and appreciated.

Organization GroupIn order for an organization to grow, it is important for each person who works there to get and stay on track to career success. Towards that end, an annual appraisal process evaluates each employee’s performance and growth and provides employees feedback , guidance, and direction for development.

Less experienced leaders may count on managers to prepare and administer appraisals for those they supervise. Self-imposed pressure to “get the review right” can cause writer’s block and so it may be put off and eventually hastily pulled together with whatever comes to the manager’s mind at the time. Upon receiving such a review, employees may feel frustrated, confused, adrift, and not not at all known, appreciated, and guided towards success and career growth.

An effective appraisal process engages those who know and care about each employee on the subject of his/her strengths, contributions, growth, and areas for improvement. The reviewer identifies and works with reviewee stakeholders to collect input, consolidate, present to peers, iterate, and finalize a communication from the organization (not just from the reviewer) to the employee being reviewed.

Such an approach is Continue reading How to give employees feedback while also showing they are known and appreciated.