Performance Management is one of the most important processes that can be developed to deliver regular tangible returns on investment that I have encountered in business.

This process works across all sectors and is also relevant in sports and I personally enjoy employing it weekly with our local soccer club and the teams that I help coach.  I want to share with you how I approach Performance Management and why I think it is so important on the journey to improvement, success, growth and change.

The Why Environment:

The individual “Why” can be different for people but it must be linked, in order to get a real buy-in, to the team/business vision & goals.  At the start of a soccer season, I will look at players in training, talk to them about what they enjoy doing most and understand from their perspective why they are part of our squad.  Most of them want to develop specific technical skills, they want to be part of a successful team, but without doubt, the majority want to have fun and enjoy themselves.

So if I can create that fun environment for them their skills development, their physical fitness, their team strategy & the game plan all become easier.  It’s no different in business, in fact, I contend it’s easier because none of our Under 15 soccer players get paid!  Most people want to improve at whatever task they invest time into, performance management can help deliver faster and better results to create the environment to have fun.

Measure What:

The old saying of “What gets measured gets managed” is very important in performance management and the key skill is to identify the “What”. What are the key performance indicators to focus on? How do we measure them? What is a good score & what do we do to improve it?

In soccer I use indicators like passes completed, tackles/headers won, forward passes, shots on target, runs made and many more.  Some of them are relative to the player’s position and more look at the player’s attitude or focus.

It is up to each player to understand what is being measured and take their own responsibility in improving.  So too in business, we have business specific as well as role specific measurements. We identify and communicate these in order to give our team members a benchmark as to how they are progressing.  Imagine if we never kept score in matches, league tables or competitions? How would that work?

 Room to Improve Who:

In all my years in business and coaching sporting teams, I have yet to meet an individual that has no interest in improving in some small way. I believe that each employee or team member has a right to expect that their manager/coach will try and improve their performance.  But with this “right” also comes an obligation to the team, manager, co-workers, teammates, company, customers or club to try their best, to be the best they can be.  The rewards are different, the stakes are different but the attitude is the same: to be the best you can be.

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