Gone are the days of force ranking teams of people. This performance management concept “championed by Jack Welch [chairman and CEO of GE] in the 1980s” took too much time from leaders who could have been developing staff rather than numbering them.1 Formally checking in with employees on a weekly basis significantly improves future performance.
I grew up understanding Hewlett Packard’s Management By Wandering About or Walking Around (MBWA) concept, thanks to my dad (who also bragged to Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard about yours truly on a trip to the airport when I was 12-years-old). This concept was used regularly on the HP manufacturing floor. But, it is not just for the office. In fact, my mom reminds me that this “unstructured approach to hands-on, direct participation by the managers in the work-related affairs of their subordinates” encouraged employees and their families toward greater commitment, which ultimately improved corporate outcomes.2 But, is MBWA outdated, too? No…
In addition to MBWA, I recommend a compromise between the annual force ranking and the informal chats of MWBA resulting in an official 15-minute meeting with each staff member every week. Deloitte suggests the employee schedule this check-in enhancing accountability and a focus on upcoming activities.3
[We] are in need of something nimbler, real-time, and more individualized—something squarely focused on fueling performance in the future rather than assessing it in the past. ~Reinventing Performance Management, by Marcus Buckingham & Ashley Goodall 3
Coaching and mentoring staff through critical projects helps leaders tie in the greater vision consistently, address ‘show-stoppers’ quickly, and convey a level of care and concern! All this, in addition to training team members to handle situations BEFORE they cause delay, poor quality, or inferior service. It is imperative to conduct at least one formal 15-minute meeting on a weekly basis with each team member. You work toward the future, rather than looking backwards– and it could save your company!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Sugerman (PMP, PCC) is a speaker, author, and leadership coach with Leading Synergies. She hosts global masterminds, called Synergy Groups, for REALLY BUSY Christians leading with powerful confidence and humble hearts. She works with high-performing leaders focused on organizational effectiveness by refining strategy, inspiring teams, and delighting clients. Michelle specializes in the areas of information technology, project management, franchise management, and business as mission. Michelle lives in Colorado where she hikes fourteeners and enjoys gourmet meals with her loving husband of 22 years.