This month we have a tip to help you tune up your team.
For those of you who operate on normal calendar quarters and are just ending your third quarter, take a few minutes with each of your direct reports to have a one-on-one conversation to exchange feedback. We're recommending doing this quarterly because a formal review annually isn't enough to keep your team finely tuned and performing at their best. Each "conversation" needs to have structure but is less formal than an annual review (e.g. go out for a cup of coffee together). We use the word exchange because the feedback needs to go both ways.
- Your direct reports need to know how they are doing. Fill out the People Analyzer™ tool in advance and review how you feel they are aligning with and displaying your company core values. Then review how they are performing in their specific seat. From what you have observed over the past quarter, do you feel they are still "getting it", do they still want to do what the seat requires and do they still have the capacity to deliver want you need from the seat? If they are doing well, tell them - they need to hear it. If you have concerns about their performance, talk about what they can do to eliminate your concerns and make sure they commit to making those changes. Record commitments on the People Analyzer to review in your next quarterly conversation.
- You need to know how you are doing as a leader and manager. Ask if you are giving clear direction and setting clear expectations. Are you providing the necessary tools and support for them to succeed? Are you letting them do their job as opposed to hovering and micromanaging? Do they have expectations that aren't being met? Do they feel you are being a good example? If you have been falling short, commit to making necessary changes, keep a record of your commitments and review how you've done with those commitments in your next quarterly conversation.
Open and honest quarterly conversations help to build trust and enhance your working relationship with your direct reports. They also tune each person's performance to better meet expectations in both directions.
Bonus tip:If you are feeling some tension and frustration on your leadership team, try this. In one of your meetings with all your leaders present, take the People Analyzer out and do an interactive review. Start by asking each leader to rate the visionary's alignment with your core values (use the ratings: +, ± or -). Make sure you also get Yes or No answers for each of these three questions: does he/she still get it, want it and have the capacity to do what the seat requires? Evaluate the Integrator next and continue around the room. If there is tension and frustration between your leaders, this exercise will smoke out the issues. Discuss and resolve any of the issues that surface. This will clear the air, equip you with invaluable feedback to help you make necessary adjustments, and ultimately build a healthier team.
Go tune up your team.