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  1. Now spring is at least trying to make an appearance, I'm trying to lose my extra winter layer. One of the ways I'm doing this is to take 30-45 minutes out of my day and go for a cycle ride. I don my bum bag and cycle helmet and off I go. When an aquaintance spotted me today, she commented that I was being "very good" wearing my helmet, even though I wasn't with my kids (and therefore setting the example). My immediate thought was "Why wouldn't I?"

    Yes, my helmet isn't very fashionable. Yes, it makes my hair sweaty, but what's the alternative? I look a lot less silly in my helmet than I would with a head injury.

    When I speak to managers I find the same attitude. They know they SHOULD be having one-to-ones with their staff. They know they SHOULD be rasing issues of poor performance, but for various reasons, they don't LIKE to. I would say to these managers, which is the less difficult situation...

    a) explaining to a member of staff why their performance isn't good enough and what they need to do differently (and why), or

    b) explaining to YOUR manager why YOU allowed poor performance to continue and bring about unacceptable results?

    Whilst neither may be preferable (unattractive helmet or brain injury), I know which of the two evils I would go for.

    If you or your staff lack skills or confidence in having those difficult conversations, our Power Hour training sessions on Managing Underperformance and Giving Feedback may help.

  2. This week I got involved in a great Twitter debate about performance management. It soon became clear that performance management means different things to different people. It is a phrase often used to describe all of the things below... and no doubt more!

     performance management

    One of the few things was almost universally agreed during the #nzlead debate was that 'Performance Management' is an inadequate term. It encompasses ALL of these things, but people often fixate on just one.

    For ME performance management is simple people management in its purest form: helping people to perform to:

    a) the standards that are expected by their organisation, and

    b) the best of their ability.

    It is a practice, not a process.

    The processes and paperwork that are so often associated with performance management (and universally loathed by managers) are just things that are put in place to structure, standardise and measure the outputs of the act of managing people.

    Most performance management problems most organisations face are, in my experience, managers failing to manage their people. They can't or won't have difficult conversations about poor performance: they don't see the need to stretch their good performers or recognise those people who contribute well to the business. And HR departments find it easier to focus on tweaking the process rather than address the real problem: Managers reluctance or inability to manage their staff.

    That's why in our Performance Management bundle (which comprises 7 bite-size modules for just £150!) focusses heavily on the people management skills line managers need to manage performance EVERY DAY as part of normal operations. Until performance management Is accepted as part of every-day managerial duties, debates like the one I was involved in will continue to rage.