In this episode of Talent Talks, I share my thoughts related to defining what great performance looks like in your company how to communicate it. It’s very important to talk to employees about what good vs. great performance looks like, and avoid the trap of telling the employee what to do.
For best results, you can talk in broad terms about being curious, looking to add value and experimenting with new ways of doing things, but you can’t give a list of things for an employee to do to achieve your highest rating if innovation is truly your goal.
3 steps for defining great employee performance
Separate good from great
The first important thing to remember is that “great” means different things to different people. Make sure to identify what that means to you as a manager (and to your organization at large) so that your people aren’t mistaking “acceptable” or “good” performance for going above-and-beyond.
Give focused feedback
When trying to establish what great performance looks like for your people, make sure that you’re giving feedback where it counts. Focus your employee feedback towards the things that really move the needle from good to great (as defined by the above step) like innovation and delivering value.
Do not, I repeat, do NOT give a to-do list
Great performers are not task robots. Great performers exercise creativity and innovative thinking to move the needle. Don’t itemize a list of things that will make someone a great performer. Instead, outline great outcomes for them to achieve. And then, have your employee come back to you with how they achieved those outcomes, and work on them through the performance cycle.
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