As mentioned in my previous blog, I cannot stress enough the importance of setting up the right pathway for your company, and the need to lead your team with new goals and objectives, especially during this lock down (Stage 3 in regional Victoria and Stage 4 in Melbourne Metro). Leadership is about setting goals and objectives, so it is important to make sure that your team members are 100% behind you and your company to help you trade through this pandemic. One of the things you must do once you set the pathway for everyone to follow, is to have that performance conversation that are linked to your strategic direction. With my clients, I have been very strong with the message that they need to keep things simple, reduce the number of KPIs for now, and create special projects to keep their team focused.
It is extremely hard not to be reactive in the situation we are in, but confusion will lead to complacency and disengagement. You need your team more so than ever before to stand up and help your business to be successful. Do not let your staff wander off to where they are demotivated to do the necessary work that will help your company survive. If you have some staff that are self-motivated that is fantastic, however if you see other staff slacking off or not putting in enough work, then this could be very damaging to your business. Even though we have staff working remotely, you still need to have performance conversations about what your staff are doing really well, and what they need to improve on. These check-in conversations need to be well-documented and recorded for future recognition & development purposes, or when dealing with any under performances.
When it comes to performance management, the most common excuses we are hearing from our clients who are in trouble are : “I don’t have time”, “we are losing too much money”, “It is too hard to do this remotely” or “It can wait”. It’s appalling to see these companies abandon these performance conversations and reviews.
I have been questioning these leaders on their decision to put this off. It sounds like they have gone from coaching and driving their business like a soccer coach, and now they are leaving their staff in limbo with no direction to follow. I know this may be hard for some people to stomach, but the companies who are trading well through this pandemic have a good plan in front of them, they have made all necessary changes to stay in business, and have laid a pathway for every staff member to follow.
You need to remember Performance Management is all about an employee life cycle from start to finish:
In essence, you must lead and manage your team through this pandemic and you must set clear KPIs and expectations as mentioned above.
With too many verbal conversations happening, many companies are forgetting the importance of record keeping during these time. If you need to address performance issues remotely (Via Zoom or TEAMS) then you need to have a good reason why, and evidences to base it. Do not let things slip by or wait as this could be detrimental to your business.
There are many instances where companies are forced to shut, staff are being stood down, staff are being reduced to Job Keeper only, staff are leaving companies after many years and there are redundancies happening everywhere. Unfortunately, we will see a lot more people be out of work in the coming months. Companies are making mistakes by not following the right processes. The last thing you would want to deal with is an unfair dismissal or an adverse action claim. If you are laying off staff, it needs to be fair and well-justified. Please ensure you seek the right advice before you make any decision.
Lastly, as an employer you want to keep your staff safe, you need to lead and guide them through this terrible situation, always check on their well-being and support them. If you set the right pathway, this will increase loyalty, and your staff remain grateful that you have kept them employed.
At KBA we are a team that are very passionate about taking businesses from good to great. If you are wanting help on how to improve on your company’s strategy, sales, or staff through these challenging times, please contact us today as we are here to help!