Developing your teams and monitoring their individual performance are critical components in managing a successful enterprise. Ultimately you want the best for your teams in terms of workplace wellbeing and the best from them in terms of workplace effectiveness. World class organisations aspire to have a high quotient in both of these areas. The symbiosis of staff morale and performance are seen as a means of retaining talent and a measure of a well-balanced workplace. For some organisations that prize staff loyalty and low churn rates, it is seen as a demonstration of the maturity of their business model.
What Does Good Look Like?
If your business is growing one common challenge you may face is that of identifying tomorrows leaders. Where are your rising stars and how do you nurture that talent in your organisation? This can be most apparent where you have delegated the responsibility of people management to others and remain at an arm’s length from your staff. Furthermore, where these team members are performing very different tasks that seem incomparable, how do you really know what ‘good’ looks like? When making informed decisions on staff promotions do you solely rely on gut instinct from your line-managers?
Visual tools can enable you as a leader to have meaningful conversations with your managers on performance related matters. There are many visual tools that can track improvements in the workplace that may aid your watching brief. These tools allow you to delegate the detail to that line manager and focus on outcomes. When tacit knowledge is codified and expressed in a visual medium you have a simple means to identify the change. You can then work together on what the data is telling you about the current state of your organisation. Is it getting better, worse or staying the same?
Gamification in the Workplace
Grading systems in the workplace have been around since the year dot. Some have viewed the ranking and performance tracking of individuals as being detrimental to morale in the workplace. This is particularly common for businesses that make visual charts accessible to all employees in that organisation. The verdict is still out on whether putting individual performances indicators on a noticeboard does anything but embarrass and demotivate lower scoring staff members. We have however seen the effective use of the performance table as a useful tool to aid more junior members in bumping up their experience in key areas – seemingly seeking to chase the goal of beating the opposition through the acquisition of new skills. This gamification of knowledge attainment and skills transfer can be highly effective if utilised correctly.
Our experience shows that if you intend to make this information available, it should be handled with care and ought to be introduced gradually. We believe that the first step is to use this data in closed management meetings and during individual appraisals. Once you get a measure of how staff respond to being ranked amongst their peers you can then take a view as to whether you ‘go public’ with the staff scoring matrices.
BEEQ – a People Management Tool
For people management, well-documented training and attendance records can offer useful indicators of rising stars and those team members that may need more support to maximise their potential. Tools that enable your managers to track the effectiveness and morale of their staff are seen as vital performance tools in today’s knowledge-based economy. We have found the technique of plotting the position of staff in an engagement quadrant can be one such useful tool.
The Four Quadrants
We encourage managers to visualise both an individuals attainment of new skills (X-axis) and knowledge transfer between employees (Y-axis) in the workplace. These are great indicators of how engaged an employee is with a company culture that sees value in an individuals development and their aptitude for collaboration.
Learner (bottom left) - At the early stages of gaining experience and not easily able to pass on skills to others.
Trailblazer (bottom right) – Progressing well, demonstrating an appetite for acquiring skills and new knowledge but not passing on knowledge.
Sharer (top left) - Although they only know a limited number of skills – they are willing to share these with others.
Leader (top right) - High levels of skills and demonstrating a clear willingness to share them with others
The Employee Medals
The extra dimension to this visual tool relates to workplace wellbeing and the ability of staff to maintain a satisfactory level of attendance.
The Red, Amber and Green colours of each employee medal relate to attendance in the workplace. Whilst being no standalone indicator of engagement, attendance – when used in conjunction with the arrows that track the periodic change – does offer an early indicator of staff that may be impacted by training plans and workplace well-being programmes. A staff member that is feeling stress may see their attendance levels dip, those that are highly motivated may be bouncing back from a low ebb. Most importantly this tool aims to track change and monitor successful implementation of improvement plans.
Our experience shows that many managers struggle to assimilate the trends in complex data sets and can miss out on important indicators that may affect an overall team performance. We have found that building a picture of the current state and then tracking change over time is a great management information tool. Beyond’s simple Employee Engagement Quadrant – alongside other visual management tools in the workplace – can be a great aid, especially for line managers and workplace welfare officers.
Talk to us today about how our Beyond Employee Engagement Quadrant can empower managers and help your business achieve its goals.