Businesses are looking to perform with greater speed, consistency and flexibility. The strategies and processes are only as good as the people and systems developing and executing those plans. Performance of individuals and the collective groups throughout the global organization is the key to success.
Many organizations assume that smart people will know “what” and “how” to carry out the work. Savvy companies know the differentiator is in “how” to get people engaged to do the work. If an organization isn’t achieving the intended results, then a more careful review of performance is required to make the necessary shift to achieving the business performance.
Performance is a series of individual behaviors performed over time from executives to key performers. Sometimes the critical behaviors are not as easy to implement as intended. Performance management is a mechanism of how to motivate people to do the work that leads to the business outcomes. The key element is human behavior and understanding the function of consequences that either increase or decrease the likelihood of the behavior occurring again. The science of human behavior shows that people tend to do things that provide positive consequences and will adjust or stop doing behaviors that aren’t reinforcing to them. In an organization, performing specific behaviors can mean the difference of achieving a result or falling short of the mark.
Business results are based on a series of actions. Those actions can be broken down to the individual behaviors and mapped out across various levels, functions and locations throughout the organization. It can get complicated; however, by identifying the key one or two behaviors that lead to the result, and creating a consequence plan enables the individuals and organization to advance forward.
To change the results, the key behaviors of performers and leaders need to be defined throughout the organization. To change the behavior, it takes understanding the consequences impacting those behaviors. Results are managed through systematically managing behavior as outlined below:
- Name the business opportunity
- Define the goal or targeted result
- Identify performers and the behaviors to achieve the goal
- Understand the impacts of consequences on the behavior
- Equip leaders at all levels to implement those critical few behaviors
- Provide coaching and feedback to encourage the new behaviors
- Measure the progress both behavior and result change
- Build in additional reinforcement systems to sustain the new way