Blog Article

The 10 Commandments of Performance Improvement Sales Training

Performance management and the improvement of employee performance is hinged on all levels of management accessing and implementing processes which effectively assist staff and in turn the company, achieve specific and measurable outcomes.
Managers are responsible for the development and progression of their team members but, all too often, those forgo the benefits of performance improvement strategies because they perceive them to take up too much extra time and resources.
However, if more organisations utilised the full benefits of these strategies they would generally find their staff retention levels would increase as would the levels of staff performance. Similarly, they would hold a more comprehensive understanding of each employee and what specifically motivates and challenges an individual employee. 
However, these strategies offer 5 key benefits that save organisations and their management time, money and effort:
1. Significant individual performance improvement 
2. A more comprehensive understanding of what specifically motivates and challenges individual team members 
3. Improved staff satisfaction and loyalty 
4. Increased staff retention levels 
5. Higher customer satisfaction
Generally speaking there are 10 commandments that managers can follow to ensure they reap the full benefits of performance improvement strategies.
1. Develop your people –  this should be your primary task as a manager. Fit everything else around this. Taking the time to speak with your employees one-on-one will ensure you have a personal understanding and insight into what makes them tick and what type of development they best respond to.
2. Data is God –  get it, analyse it, use it.  Information on employee performance is not designed to make more paper piles on your desk. Treat this information as a vital life line to understanding and identifying areas of potential improvement. Similarly, use it to identify targeted training opportunities instead of a one-size fits all mentality.
3. Find meaningful benchmarks –  so that you can easily compare everyone’s performance. Define key performance indicators for business results, activity, skills and knowledge and use them to objectively measure every level of the organisation.  At the team, division and company level compare the highest performer with the lowest and use that data to explore reasons for differences and gaps.
4. You can’t coach what you haven’t seen –  so get out into the real world. The only way to truly evaluate people’s skills is by observing them perform.  Spending time on ‘the front line’ not only gives you a vital insight into your team’s performance but also keeps you close to the market.
5. Challenge complacency –   Is someone consistently underperforming or not completing standard tasks that they’ve been taught time and time again? Question why they aren’t doing it – is it that they’ve not understood previous training or is it that their attitude or motivation prevents them from applying it?
6. ‘Ask’ don’t ‘tell’ –   The quickest way to help team members to meet their performance potential is to ask questions that help them 1] explore their performance so that they understand it; 2] identify their strengths and development areas so that understand what needs to change and 3] own the need to do things differently.
7. Don't let things 'go by' –   Be persistent about focusing on areas where employees continually under perform.  Don’t be afraid to ask why someone is not performing in a particular area and use objective data to assist in focussing on areas where results are lacking.
8. Create actionable development plans –  identify clearly how & when improvement will happen.  Agree with employees what area of performance needs to improve, what actions they will implement to improve it and when they will be completed, what support they will need, how you will both measure the improvement and when the improvement in performance should be visible.
9. Compliance is a short term fix –  work to develop ownership and commitment.  If you have enough leverage you can get people to do things differently for a short period of time but to build sustainable performance improvement people have to want to improve for themselves.
10. It’s never too late to communicate –  constantly share your vision and expectations with your team.  People perform best when they understand why they’re being asked to do something.  Explain to your team what you’re trying to achieve, why it’s important and what their role in achieving it is. 

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