Given the Tipster’s failure to break into the summer London 2012 Olympic Team, he turned his mind to the Winter Olympics.
It is not very often that a large indoor sports hall will come to a stop to witness the incredible skills and abilities of someone coming down a dry ski slope but as The Tipster inched (and I use that word accurately) down the slope there was general shock and horror that anybody could potentially be moving so slowly.
Of course, in the mind of The Tipster all he could hear was the theme music to Ski Sunday and the voice of David Vine (older readers will remember the great David Vine) barking out that here comes the Tipster to overtake Franz Klammer for Olympic gold.
Of course to the outside world the Tipster does not stand a chance and a more likely occurrence would be Accrington Stanley winning the Premiership (no disrespect to the Accies but it is highly unlikely).
So, there was a massive difference between The Tipster’s view of his performance and the reality.
Now this is so often the case within the workplace. Many workers seem to believe if they had the opportunity to sit in the Managing Director’s chair all the ills and evils of the employer would roll away. At the other extreme, some workers who are incredibly talented and have fantastic abilities are left in the corner due to the fact that poor management has failed to stimulate them or assist them in reaching their goals and objectives.
Performance management is therefore is a key matter in getting people not just to work harder but work smarter.
As in most things The Tipster believes that honesty is the best policy and that strict guidelines in relation to performance management should be set down. The reasons for this are that it can encourage talent and ability to flow and develop but also can identify issues and problems at an early stage. It is a traditional British malaise that we avoid talking in a constructive way about performance issues. A good approach is to have a clear performance policy in place which is not just a “paper” expression of intent but one that is backed up by a day to day commitment to improvement. This should include:-
An honest appraisal about the job duties that are actually undertaken by the individual employee so that a true measure of performance can be made.
That the process is a two way process. It’s okay talking about a 360 appraisal process but if an employee is so frightened to raise any concerns that they just shut up and put up. The process should be constructive.
There should be a clear identification of areas where there is a need for support and some indication of aspirational developments of the individual skills over the next 6 to 12 months.
The key though is to listen, actually listen, to what is being said so a definite and clear plan of action can be determined and outlined.
Any outstanding issues should have follow up dates and those follow up dates should be diarised and agreed to.
The outcome of the meeting should be recorded and subsequently reviewed in a set period of time.
Ideally, everyone within an office should have (in their own mind) a business plan of what they can contribute to a company.
Of course the above sounds easy but The Tipster is seeing it work within organisations and when it does it’s a bit like watching Barcelona (who of course The Tipster will one day play for).