Driving team performance is one of the most persistent challenges in business. But if you leverage one-on-one conversations and approach them with the right mindset, you will be surprised at how much you can improve performance. 

Here are 8 steps you can take to dramatically improve performance:

  1. Make regular one-to-ones a priority: Unlocking high performance always starts with a conversation. By setting regular, consistent one-to-one conversations, both managers and employees will benefit from knowing they have a platform to raise key discussion points, address challenges and issues, and have open, honest conversations.
  2. Turn every manager into a coach: Invest in a framework that enables every manager to become a coach. Not every manager will know how to deal with personal issues, or naturally be good at setting performance objectives and undertaking performance evaluations but with the right structure and prompts, every manager can become a coach.
  3. Don’t treat performance as a product: If managers are looking at output alone, they’re missing an opportunity to influence employee performance and unlock their reports’ full potential. Employee performance needs a full, wraparound perspective, looking at what’s impacting the employee as well as what they are producing.
  4. Encourage a collaborative approach to agenda-setting: Employees engage when they take an active role in agenda-setting. By encouraging employees to set the agenda for their one-to-ones, they will be more focused on the outcome of the session and more motivated to achieve the goals that are set, as they will align with their own personal objectives as well as the business’s. Likewise, managers need to be able to represent the business by adding their own points to the agenda. This collaborative approach means that both parties get what they need from every one-to-one conversation.
  5. Recognize wellbeing as a key part of performance: Happy employees are always more productive, and poor performance isn’t always indicative of incompetency or lack of ability. Your employee’s health and wellbeing are key factors in their performance. Make wellbeing a performance metric, and you will see an improvement in motivation and productivity across the business.
  6. Set, track and measure individual objectives: The best performance objectives are unique to the employee, recognizing their personal challenges and ambitions as well as the goals of the business. Enable managers to work with employees on these targets, and create actions that make them achievable and motivating, not unrealistic and demoralizing. Managers can then assess performance over the short- and long-term, and HR teams can track overall workforce health and performance.
  7. Give feedback: It goes without saying that the more feedback an employee receives, the more they will be able to improve. Performance management software should have options to share reactive feedback and constructive feedback, as well as important peer-to-peer recognition.
  8. Give employees access to the support they need: Enabling employees to access the skills and support they need from across the business is invaluable to skills-sharing and overall workforce development. Ensure that employees have easy access to the right work environment, leadership or peer support that they need to fulfil their targets or work on specific projects through mentoring.

Driving employee performance isn’t always easy. But it gets a lot easier if you use the right process. If you use these 8 steps, you’ll be surprised how much your team’s performance improves!