Creating the Right Climate: Using Critical Success Factors To Define the Standard of Performance

You may not know that two of most important steps managers can take to encourage high performance from employees are to (1) tell them what is expected and (2) give them the tools to manage themselves to the stated objectives. What if there were a tool that helped you clarify expectations?

Think about it… When do you most want a performance management tool? The simple answer is when things aren’t working right! You need performance management tools when employees are having trouble meeting performance and conduct standards. Yet sometimes the reason an employee is not doing what is expected is that the standard was never made clear. Most employees want to do what is expected and may just need more clarity about what that is.

So why don’t more managers use proven performance management tools that help to set expectations? Many managers (and employees) feel they lack control over a workplace that has devolved into a place where gossip is the primary way of communicating and every work request you make leads to complaints and a long list of reasons about why the request can’t be met. But there is good news – you CAN use standards to help create a positive work climate!

Try adopting Critical Success Factors—conduct standards—that you can use in your workplace to help everyone understand what success looks like. Take teamwork–everyone values a team that works well together, but many people don’t know exactly what teamwork does and does not look like. Yet teamwork is a key element in creating a positive work climate. So, here’s the tool. You’ll see that we have defined teamwork at three levels: Below Expectations, Meets Expectations, and Exceeds Expectations.

Below Expectations: Does some or all of the following

  • Treats people unfairly and disrespectfully; makes inappropriate comments that are disrespectful of coworkers, employees, or others
  • Avoids and responds poorly to constructive feedback
  • Complains when asked to do something
  • Does not work well with others
  • Is often the cause of conflict

Meets Expectations

  • Exhibits objectivity and openness to others’ viewpoints
  • Gives and welcomes constructive feedback
  • Contributes to building a positive team spirit
  • Focuses on solving conflict, not blaming

Exceeds Expectations: Does all of the above, plus, often

  • Actively involves new employees and others in the work group
  • Takes the lead on projects and promotes the work of the team
  • Helps others with their work
  • Seeks out and works to solve problems affecting the team
  • Coordinates team communications

And remember: performance management is much more than a system or program. It’s a way of managing that will bring immediate and long-lasting results for anyone who commits to clarity about what works!

If you are interested in learning additional Critical Success Factors for your organization, join us for a FREE webinar on Performance Management. Click Here for additional information.

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