And the Award Goes To…
From our earliest competitive and social interactions, where there is not a publicly displayed score to determine the outcome and we are in the running for an award, those five little words immediately create an adrenaline rush!
The adrenaline comes from the anticipation of wining and knowing that we had a great performance. It is a fact that we want to be recognized if not rewarded for our accomplishment.
But what happens when the award is a mockery of achievement? Does it inspire? Does it motivate a person or a team? I believe the answer to all those questions is an emphatic NO!
Two Essential Elements to High Performance
The first is clear expectations. Does the person know what is expected of them? You might imagine, assume or hallucinate they do, but I am going to tell you, they most likely do not. Remember the quality of your communication can be judged by the results you get. That little ditty comes from the world of NLP and puts the responsibility of the communication clearly on the only person we can control … ourself.
The second element is that of proper and timely feedback. Overall we do not do a very good job of giving the right kind of feedback at the right time. Just like I noted in the beginning, giving a sales person a mockery of an award is completely wrong. If the manager did not like the salesperson’s performance results and no feedback was given until the derogatory award, it is the manager’s fault. The feedback should have been happening all along not just at the end when the results were not there as expected.
I talked to a supervisor recently who mentioned that she had a hard time finding and keeping good employees. She went on to tell me that she recently hired an employee with the strict warning they were under a 90-day evaluation period and any infraction would lead to termination. The supervisor went on to tell me that on the 91st day, the new employee was late for work. Was it the new employee who was at fault or was it the supervisor’s fault for not resetting expectations and giving the proper feedback?
If you want employees to walk over the threshold and achieve at their highest performance potential, supervisors and managers are responsible for providing the keys to the door. Open communications with clear expectations and on-going feedback.
To your success!