The Learning Management Process – Part III. Accountability is King!

Accountability is king! By following the Elation Three Step Learning Process through to the management stage, all leaders should be able to support their teams into high performance.  The whole ethos behind the three step process is that first you give your team the skills they need and if they still continue to under perform you should step in to manage that behaviour.

More often than not providing great training and reinforcing that training with good communication and incentive is enough to manage a team effectively.  However, we have all worked in environments where for one reason or another, a member of the team is not performing effectively.

If, as a manager, you are confident you have given your team the skills they need to complete the task effectively then you need to consider how else you can deal with the situation.

The reality is that one of the toughest jobs for a manager is to find the right way to handle poor performance without micro managing or belittling their team.  Leadership is about reputation and the way you manage under performance sets your reputation across your team.

The management techniques that we focus on at Elation cover a suite of tools that require your teams to take accountability for their performance and take their own steps to improve it with your support.

No one tool is right for every team and you need to consider the personalities and the dynamics of your team but here are two of the most powerful methods we use:

Tool Number One – Progress charting

The power of progress charting for a manager is that it gives the team member ownership of their own improvement.

The first step is to note down clearly the current performance of the team member, this may be a metric against one of their KPIS (number of outbound calls made) or it may be a behavioural issue (regular lateness).

Once you have noted the current performance, you then set a benchmark for improvement.  Again this may be a metric measure (100 calls per week) or it may be a conduct measure (arrive at 8.50am every day).  Once the current performance is measured against the requirement you have a performance gap.

It is this performance gap that you are looking to manage.  The final step of the process is to set the timeframes and actions for progress. You should do this in collaboration with your team member.

Once you have decided how many weeks you expect the team members to spend working towards their goals, you can spend some time 1-2-1 with them to coach on the best ways to achieve those goals.  It is then the responsibility of the team member to report weekly to you on the achievement towards their goals so that you can monitor their success.

This method creates clear performance measures and also gives timeframes and accountability to the team member.

Tool Number Two – Traffic Lighting

I have seen the traffic light system used across many areas of a business to measure successes and opportunities.  One of the most effective ways of using traffic lights systems is to create a very simple and effective KPI measure and performance standard.

The first job of the manager is to define what the key performance criteria are. From there, you can decide what achievement would sit in the Green category (exceeding expectations); Amber category (average performance); Red category (under delivering).

Getting your team into the habit of tracking themselves against these criteria (giving them accountability) will give them an awareness of where their performance sits and you have some structure in the team to manage around.

A great practice in a business is to manage reward or incentive around regular achievement of Green standard and to building training and performance management in for those regularly attaining Red standard.  Depending on the nature of your business, you may choose to manage these standards daily, weekly or monthly; but they should form the framework for your performance discussions in the team.

Naturally, there are many methods available to you to manage your performance but there are just two of the most effective.

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Try using this model after training your teams, we’d love to hear how effective you find it.

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