Section 3 – Respond to performance data
An objective is a short-term, measurable step that brings you closer to accomplishing a larger, overarching long-term goal. For an objective to be effective it must be clear, measurable and have a time element. For instance, a small business owner might seek to increase revenue by 10 percent in one year, which is an example of a highly effective work objective.
A useful tool to understand performance results is trend analysis. This presents data by showing how performance changes over a period of time. By contrast, variance analysis compares performance measures against each other from one period to another, from one agency to another, or from target to actual. This type of analysis provides information about what drives the variances.
Organisations are required to explain material variances between targets and their estimated and/or actual results in their annual reports. What constitutes a ‘material’ variance is subjective and will depend on the particular measure being analysed. A variance is generally considered to be ‘material’ if it is of such a nature that its disclosure would be likely to influence decision-making by users of the information reported.
Performance indicators explain how well product, services and processes are working together to keep customers satisfied. Performance measures include the study of processes within a company to see if output is in line with objective. These tools help companies to understand, control and improve or maintain their internal operations. Performance measures tell companies how well they are doing, how satisfied or dissatisfied customers are, whether goals are being met and what if any improvements are necessary.
A performance measure is a number and a unit of measurement, the number, which is called a magnitude, measures how much is being done and the unit tells what is being done. These measures are usually tied to a target (the company’s goals) and can be measured in units such as hours, years, and the number of reports or number of errors. Most of the performance measures used, however, can be placed into one of the following categories.
The step is pretty self-explanatory; if it doesn’t work then it needs to be adjusted. Keep these three features in mind when designing a new performance measurement goals.
Keep in mind also that goals need to be challenging but achievable and that if previously set standards were impossible to meet then consider adjusting expectations. Do the reverse also for objectives that were easily exceeded. And finally, if there was extensive revamping done to the work process, then there needs to be new performance measures set.
Ensure groups and individuals contributing to under-performance are coached, and provide training where appropriate. Coaching is a process that aims to improve performance and focuses on the ‘here and now’ rather than on the distant past or future. While there are many different models of coaching, here we are not considering the ‘coach as expert’ but, instead, the coach as a facilitator of learning. It unlocks a person’s potential to maximise their performance. Coaching helps them to learn rather than teaching them. Workplace coaching is the process of equipping people with the tools, knowledge, and opportunities they need to fully develop themselves to be effective in their commitment to themselves, the company, and their work.
Many organisations, researchers and leaders have identified coaching as a critical leadership and management competency. In addition, employees are asking more and more for coaching. True coaching improves employee and organisational resiliency and effectiveness in change. Workplace coaching contributes as the skills, processes and knowledge through which people involve themselves in making the maximum impact and constantly renewing themselves and their organisations as they experience continuous change. Coaching is not management skills re-packaged, although coaching draws on certain management skills and competencies. Coaching deals with employee growth, development, and achievement by removing roadblocks to performance and enhancing creativity. Management deals with supervision, evaluation and meeting objectives. Workplace Coaching is not therapy or counselling, although coaching uses some of the same
communication processes. Coaching is about creativity, performance and action, while therapy deals with resolution and healing of the past. Coaching is not mentoring or consulting, although coaches will use their experience, diagnose situations and give opinions or advice at times. Coaching uses all of one’s knowledge and experience to enable the person being coached to create and develop their own best practices, connections and resources. In summary, coaching is not training. Coaches give information, but they support those they coach in developing their own skills and knowledge.
The underlying and ever-present purpose of coaching is building the self-belief of others, regardless of the content of the task or issue. If leaders and managers bear this in mind and act on it persistently and authentically, they will be staggered by the improvements in relationships and in performance that result. Coaching is not merely a technique to be wheeled out and rigidly applied in certain prescribed situations. It is a way of leading, a way of treating people, a way of thinking, a way of being.
Whether we coach, manage or lead, the effectiveness of what we do depends in large measure on our beliefs about human potential. The expressions “to get the best out of someone” and “your hidden potential” imply that more lies within the person waiting to be released. Unless the leader or coach believes that people possess more capability than they are currently expressing, he or she will not be able to help them. They must think of people in terms of their potential, not their performance. The majority of appraisal systems are seriously flawed for this reason. People are put in performance boxes from which it is hard for them to escape, either in their own eyes or their manager’s. To get the best out of people, we have to believe the best is there – but how do we know it is, how much is there and how do we get it out? Building self-belief
We build self-belief when we make decisions, take successful actions and recognise our full responsibility for both our successes and failures. However, nothing succeeds like success. For people to build self-belief, in addition to accumulating successes they need to know that their success is due to their own efforts. They must also know that other people believe in them, which means being trusted, allowed, encouraged and supported to make their own choices and decisions. It means to be treated as an equal, even if the job has a lesser label. It means not being patronized, instructed, blamed, threatened or denigrated by word or deed. To use coaching successfully we have to adopt a far more optimistic view than usual of the dormant capability of all people. Pretending we are optimistic is insufficient because our genuine beliefs are conveyed in many subtle ways of which we are not aware. Unlocking people’s potential
Our beliefs about the capability of others have a direct impact on their performance. The purpose of coaching is to unlock people’s potential to maximize their own performance. It is helping them to learn rather than teaching or telling them. After all, how did you learn to walk? Did your mother or father instruct you? We all have a built-in, natural learning capability that is far more amazing than we realize and one that is actually disrupted by instruction. Potential is the engine of coaching and of performance. When leaders focus on potential, and observe the coaching fundamentals of curiosity, non-judgement and partnering, they no longer measure people by their past performance or blame them for mistakes. Fear and other inner interferences decrease, and self-belief, awareness and responsibility increase. By adopting a coaching frame of mind, leaders can release rich reserves of talent and motivation and a strong sense of purpose in their people. Wise business leaders and managers use coaching in their day-to-day leadership. The good news is that we can all learn to do so.
A coaching strategy may be:
Knowing your employees as well as you do, certain people may seem like “natural” choices for the role of coach or mentor. This is a good sign. And it means, in all likelihood, that they will approach the role with plenty of their own ideas about how to proceed. Put your two good heads together and try to agree on some basic coaching strategies:
The most effective leaders share one secret to their success—it is their employees. Aside from managing projects and delegating tasks, a successful manager will know the importance of developing their employees’ skills. The more trained and capable the workers are, the more successful your department will be.
Focus on developing the following 10 coaching skills to become an excellent leader with loyal and capable staff:
The most important skill to effective coaching is the ability to listen to others. It’s vital for managers to understand that coaching is not about the coach, but rather about those that they are coaching. As such, it is important to focus on them and listen to their thoughts, needs and concerns in order to structure the most effective coaching sessions.
In order to be on the same page with your employees about their comprehension and interest in the topic at hand, coaches need to master the ability of asking openended questions. This is the only true way of gauging your workers attitudes about the training and quizzing them about the material you presented to get a sense of their knowledge levels.
Leaders must know how to work effectively together with their employees, and thereby teach them to work collaboratively together. Learning about group think, and finding strategies that promote group learning is highly advantageous when it comes to effective coaching.
Coaching is just one of the many tasks that a manager will be responsible for. While a coaching session will typically last a couple of hours or days at most, the coach must be able to make good use of this limited time in order for it to be effective.
The manager must be able to create and motivate successful teams for a positive corporate culture and a productive workplace environment. Teaching your employees about the importance of communication, respect, collaboration and empathy will go a long way in forming teams from individual employees.
Emotional intelligence (EQ) describes the ability to understand the feelings of others, and properly react to them. Coaching sessions can be stressful and frightening for employees, and managers must have the skills to calm them down and make them feel certain in their abilities.
Another vital skill is the ability to clearly and informatively voice your opinion in order for others to understand what you are trying to say. It also involves learning which communication styles work best for employees, such as verbal or non-verbal or visual.
Every coaching session needs clear objectives, otherwise the employees will walk away feeling confused. A manager must know how to set SMART, measurable and time-bound objectives to make the employees accountable for the learning process.
There are many things that a leader may want to impart on their employees; however, time and resources often limit that desire. A manager must consider if the training session is valuable to the employees and consistent with the company’s vision and goals.
A coach’s job is not done after the training< has completed. They must be available to monitor their employees understanding and implementation of the new skills in order to make sure the training was a success.
The coaching model is a method by which an individual is moved from their current position to where they desire to be. It is an underlying structure of the knowledge, skills, and tools you use when you coach an individual. Resource requirements vary according to the coaching program models
Finding the best solution to a problem. If someone asked you for the best way to drive from point A to point B, you wouldn't advise him just to get in his car and start driving. He'd probably end up lost! The same is true when you are coaching team members. You need to work with them to find the best route from problem to solution, dividing what they need to do along the way into easy, manageable steps. The PRACTICE model of coaching helps you do this.
PRACTICE is a simple framework that you can use to help people identify their problems and decide on the best solutions. The acronym stands for the seven steps in the process:
The STEPPPA model is its overall perspective that behaviours are driven by emotion, which means that action is motivated by the emotional commitment. As a coach, behaviours are driven by emotion. That means action is motivated by an emotional commitment.
Subject - What is the subject of the coaching? What’s the topic or what’s the goal?
Target - What are you aiming for? What is it that you want to achieve?
Emotion - Is the goal worth it? A great question, right?
Perception -What is the meaning of the goal? How does it have meaning for you?
Plan - How do you achieve it? What do you need to do to get from Point A to Point B?
Pace - When do you want to achieve this?
Act - Step-by-step actions are needed. What are they?
This is the most widely known and used model in coaching and originally identified by Sir John Whitmore, a pioneer of the executive coaching industry. The GROW represents four stages in the coaching conversation: (Goal, Reality, Options, Way Forward/Will). The coach helps the person being coached articulate a concise goal. Next, the client (learner) describes his or her current situation, (Reality) and followed by figuring out choices (Options) and next steps. Ultimately, the client identifies and selects one or more options to use in an action plan (Wrap up/Way forward).
This model was designed to provide a flexible developmental framework for individuals in managerial positions to develop the skills and knowledge of their team. It builds upon the original GROW Model of coaching. The five stages of O.S.K.A.R.
The O.S.K.A.R. coaching model is a robust framework to help your coaching sessions focus on solutions rather than the problem.
The CLEAR coaching model was developed by Peter Hawkins in the early ’80s and is an acronym for
1 Contracting – The Model is useful for generating ideas, assisting a client see a situation differently, or identifying and assessing possible alternatives.
2 Review – Closing the session, reinforcing ground covered, decisions made, and value added. Wherever possible, the client summarizes her actions, insights, and selfreflection at this stage.
Normally this is for companies that want to understand how things are flowing through the business from a financial standpoint.
We look at processes from the initial customer order through to the collection of money from invoicing and the relationship with the company accounts.
Equally processes are looked at from sourcing suppliers, through to purchase orders, and the payment of these invoices. Furthermore, we look at the potential of project accounting to know which areas of the business are more profitable, along with which projects or events are repeatable and how they can be used in future.
When presented with an overburdened and inefficient process, it’s tempting to just through more resources at the problem. In an average business, between 40 and 80% of the day is wasted due to inefficient processes. By carrying out a process review, it enables you to make improvements and make them more efficient and effective with less time wasted on invaluable work. The process review should deliver an understanding of what that process is giving you, not only with the results but who and what touches that process. It will highlight problem areas and opportunities for change.
The process review is a five-stage process:
What are the benefits?
Who needs this work done?
For smaller companies that are starting to grow, it’s all about defining how you currently work, if it is the correct way to work, and how that can be scaled when bringing on new staff or new customers. You need to have your processes documented in order to make the transition easier. Documenting your processes means that there will be consistency applied on how you work, can highlight gaps & delays, and work will be performed in the same way. The growing pains of business can be severe and a survey by the insurer RSA state that over 50% of businesses fail within the first 5 years. Reasons quoted are lack of bank financing, not understanding the tax system, cash flow, red tape and general issues of running a business and the effort and skills required. Secure financial processes & systems helps with the running of the businesses, and expert knowledge & support in accounting starts to alleviate the pains of the tax system.
Larger companies also suffer from the same pain. Process and system issues can be hidden from view as there are more staff filling the gaps, slower times to react to fix problems, and often the problem is too big to even start to take a bite out of. Review system processes and work methods regularly as part of continuous improvement How to conduct a business process review in four steps
Start by defining the business process ‘as is’. This means all of the sections in a typical business process, such as:
The goal here is to understand exactly how the business process works today, kinks and all. At this stage, the people involved in the process need to be interviewed. Prompt them by asking questions, such as:
It’s not good enough that they just describe it – they need to show you how they do it. You also need to encourage these employees to explain any problems with the existing process.
Consider the following questions:
It also helps to draw up a visual representation of the business process from start to finish and its interaction with people, departments, and software. This makes it easier to analyse and identify potential gaps and overload points.
Once you’ve mapped out the processes, arrange a series of meetings with staff to brainstorm why the problems exist and how to resolve them. Talking to customers will also give you great insight into where you’re going wrong.
From the findings you create a report, which should consist of a process map, with each process tied back to a detailed discussion which consists of:
Now comes the improvement plan – essentially an action plan to put the desired processes in place. Here, you need to set realistic and measurable objectives that align with your overall business goals. Include the key actions that need to be taken to get to where you want to be, how they will be achieved, and any financial and resource implications.
Technology is the last part in all of this – the BPR should drive technology, not the other way around. This will depend entirely on your situation, but examples of technologies that create more efficient processes are: