1 june 2020

Bringing out top-notch performances

It takes two hands to clap and performance management is similar. On the one hand, it is the performer and on the other hand it is the reviewer.

Just as in a concert hall, the performer or artist performs and depending on the applause from the auditorium, the artist would instantly know whether he or she has done well. Performance is never a solitary affair.

Here are 5 tips that will help in your performance, thereby achieving your goals through top-notch performances.

1. Plan: As the saying goes that failing to plan is planning to fail, there needs to be a blueprint for anything that we want to achieve in life, not restricted to official goals alone. Plans are like GPS systems: where one can plan where they want to go, how they want to reach there, what is the mode of transport, which route would they select and most importantly the GPS needs to be working well, to ensure correct navigation. Likewise, planning includes what is to be achieved, how would it be achieved, who will be involved, what are the time frames and so on. The 4WH sheet is the best planner - what, when, where, who and how.

2. Prepare: Prepare is like doing a trial run or a pilot run. It’s like a bungee jump, where just prior to the jump, the safety harnesses, latches, hooks, etc are checked. The bungee trainer also explains and demonstrates how do you leap or jump. Preparation is all about getting ready for the known and being open to the unknown as well. Sometimes when we call or schedule an appointment with a tradesman like a plumber, electrician or even a technician for a device that has broken down in our house, we feel frustrated especially when they are on premises without adequate tools or spares and that leads to an unwanted delay. Likewise, we should prepare well in advance and lay a great launch pad for the next stage - to perform.

3. Perform : After adequate planning and preparation, it is time to execute and execute well. At this stage it is important to meet and exceed set targets. Passion, hard work dedication and tact is important for one to perform. What matters ultimately is to get a move on in pursuit of those set plans. In short, what is needed is results not excuses. There should always be a contingent or back up alternative for any initiative as things don’t go to plan always and a plan B needs to be relied upon in such circumstances. This is the make or break stage and hence making things happen is key.

4. Publish: Being humble is a great virtue and lying low even when you perform at the highest level while receiving the greatest accolades is a hallmark of great leadership and character. However there could be times where managers refuse to acknowledge top performances. So the best way of completing a full round of feedback would be to announce the outcome of your performance - whether you have achieved your targeted results or not. Bringing it to the attention of the management will ensure that suitable recognition and reward be accorded. The key here is that the onus is on the employee performing the task to let his manager and team know and be aware of the progress or results.

5. Persevere: It is easy to get to the top, but challenging to stay there. This is a step that many forget for reasons of either celebrating their performance victory or getting stuck in the dissatisfaction of not having accomplished their goal and hence dejected.

To persevere here, would mean that records are meant to be broken, a new goal has to be set and conquered and progress is to be made. After all, the golden mantra of performance management is that the performance status of any employee is always dynamic - meaning that they could be stars today and slip to being a mediocre performer or vice versa. So consistency and perseverance is key in ensuring performances are achieved.

Whether it is the great F1 champion Lewis Hamilton, the legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar or the top notch footballer Messi, the performance rules don’t change - they would be in as long as they are performing. So perseverance is key.

So here is your 5 P formula through planning, preparing, performing, publishing and persevering which could help you in bringing out those top notch performances. Now, the stage is all yours !!