Journey of a Serial Entrepreneur

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How to get from where you are to where you want to be

Great team…but lousy results?

“Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations. Expect the best of yourself and then do what is necessary to make it a reality.” Ralph Martson

You have got things going pretty smoothly by now. You have found the right people and you have begun work on your concept. A very important aspect which should be talked about in the first critical meeting that teams have is about setting objectives, goals and time-lines. If these are not put into stone at this stage what will happen most of the the time is predictable. You will start off by feeling great about the project, 2-3 months will go by and you will be still stuck where you started. This has happened to me quite a few times and believe me its not fun. There will be a lot of confusion as to why this is happening, people will begin to doubt themselves and the business and most importantly productivity takes a plunge. So make sure you have clearly outlined objectives, goals and times lines for everyone on the team before starting.

By following the identification step you will effectively give everyone a responsibility which they have made a commitment to reach. Milestones are great motivators for teams as well. For example, the team sets a broad target to get their company website up in 2 weeks. Person A is allocated collecting the text for the website, Person B is going to focus on the design and Person C is the developer who will compile it all in and make sure that it is user friendly and has stuff which will get people to remember your website. If I were a part of this team and say Person A is also the designated leader of the group (leadership is a whole other topic which I will talk about in the coming weeks) it is his responsibility to set performance updates from all team members every 3 days to ensure that they are all on course to make the deadline.

If you find during the first or second performance review meeting that Person B complains that he hasn’t really started, you can take measures straight away to talk to him as to why it is so and to work through the problems. Without these regular performance appraisals you will find yourself 3 days before the deadline with no design concept as Person B says that he didn’t have enough motivation or something which stopped him from delivering. You will now be in a fix and product launch will get delayed which will affect the team spirit as well as the teams attitude towards Person B and Person B’s own morale. You have to get into the habit of conducting performance review cycles through appraisals, 360 degree feedback or simple meetings on a regular basis.

Performance reviews are also able to identify those individuals in your team who understand the job vs responsibility concept. Say Person C is in charge of the technical aspect. During the first 2 performance reviews he says that he is waiting for the material from A & B before he starts. Is he taking responsibility for his role? No. His argument is perfectly logical, however if during the first two meetings he shows us our competitions websites and plugin’s he is working on to make our website stand out, here is a guy who is motivating the team to push itself further and increasing overall productivity.

So next time you are wondering why your team is not performing to its potential go through this checklist:

1. Are the objectives and vision for the team clear?

2. Does your team have to achieve a result and time specific goals?

3. When was the last time you did a performance appraisal for your team?

This should identify key pain points for your team and will be a first step in getting productivity back on track.

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One Response

  1. […] targeted goals and commitments. To read more on performance management processes please click here. 5. Rewards and Recognition Strategy: Team members make a substantial investment when they join […]

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