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Set standards, and determine HOW they will be done. Decide standards that will apply to each activity, as well as how standards will be achieved. Understanding level of performance required gives employee a sense of achievement - which is one of key ingredients to achieving performance standards. This is true for employees at any level.
Establish communication agreements. To ensure success, owner and employee must decide at outset how they are going to communicate progress (and challenges) along way. Will it be day-to-day? Week-to-week? The minimum time frame is week-to-week. Less frequent than that and it all falls apart.
The employee decides how to achieve desired results. The owner will be present and participating for this part, but it is essential that employee be leading process in order for them to have ownership. Help employee take responsibility for deciding how to accomplish results. You may need to determine if employee has skills and development to do this. If they don't, provide maximum guidance to them.
Get it in writing. If it is not in writing, within one to two weeks everyone will be confused and uncertain. The focus, responsibility, resources, constraints, timetables and measures all need to be in writing. The purpose of doing this is to make sure owner and employee are so clear on goals and process that there is no confusion whatsoever. It sets everyone
Establish a monitoring method. Make sure you get agreement on how performance will be monitored and how frequently. In order for process to go forward, employee needs to agree to monitor their own performance, and owner must agree to sit down and review it with employee on a pre-determined schedule. Let them know upfront that if they get busy and start canceling meetings, performance will not improve and expectations will not be met. I recommend having employee keep track of their progress in writing and advise owner weekly. A simple weekly progress update is a win-win solution and can take as little as 5 minutes. A monthly sit-down, face-to-face meeting is a must also.
What are benefits of setting effective performance standards and expectations? Employees are energized and empowered to take ownership of their positions. Owners become energized and inspired, ceasing to lower expectations in order to avoid confrontation. The productivity of company goes up. Everyone knows what is expected of them, which provides certainty to move forward. This process, itself, opens new channels of communication between owners and employees.
Megan Tough, director of Action Plus, works with small business professionals who are ready to do more than ‘just get by’. Increase your income - decrease your stress! To learn more and to sign up for more FREE tips and articles like these, visit www.megantough.com