Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Clarifying performance expectations, part of New Manager Foundations (2013).
Let's start with what's expected of you, which is all about building rapport with your boss and your team. First, clarify your boss' expectations of you. You want to make sure you're both on the same page in terms of his or her expectations for the overall performance of your team. Don't leave any room for ambiguity on this topic. Next, you need to understand your boss' bigger picture. What are their main goals beyond the performance of your specific team? Your manager has many priorities, you are only one of them.
Understanding this will have a strong influence on decision-making within your team. In addition, talk with your boss about initial changes you believe are required in terms of the personnel on your team. Even if you don't receive the immediate solution you desire, you'll have planted the necessary seed for the future. Finally, request the resource improvements that you need. If your team's performance depends on any particular resource improvements, whether that's new computers or other tools, speak up. After covering these topics with your boss, you're ready to meet the team to set goals and discuss group norms.
In your initial meeting, be clear about the team's performance in the past, today, and in the future. You want to recognize recent accomplishments and milestones that preceded you. Share the main goals for the next performance period and any thoughts you wish to add about long-term performance goals. Sometimes, goals are dictated in a very structured manner. For example, in many sales organizations, a salesperson is simply handed a number to achieve. However, to the extent possible, try to build a collaborative dialogue around goal setting.
This is more motivational than merely dictating goals. After discussing goals, next, ensure goal clarity by talking about the major milestones to be accomplished in support of each goal. Determine exactly who's responsible on the team for each milestone. One more useful tip, schedule personal one-on-one follow ups to ensure you have strong goal agreement and clarity. Next, have the group define team norms.
Norms are informal rules the group adopts in support of productive behaviors. Norms have been shown to be more effective than formal rules and regulations in terms of guiding behaviors at work. Defining your norms is up to you and the group. There is no perfect set of norms. However, consider discussing these popular norms, often associated with high performing teams. Being positive and respectful, showing up on time, and being prepared.
The norms become your frame of reference when the group reflects on its interactions and decision-making. After agreeing on norms, be sure to write them down, then distribute them to all group members. Most importantly, make sure the norms are posted visually in one or more relevant places. Also, don't forget, norms must be enforced to have power and this doesn't have to be a negative event. It can even be funny. For example, when someone's late to a meeting, they have to contribute a dollar to the office coffee fund.
Getting a grip on performance doesn't have to be complex. Start by clarifying expectations with your boss, then focus on your team and nail the goals and the norms required to make you successful.
LinkedIn Learning (Lynda.com) is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
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- Clarifying performance expectations
- Feeding your learning curve
- Building rapport with your team
- Explaining your decision-making style
- Increasing your authenticity
- Communicating proactively
- Knowing when to have a meeting and who should attend
- Coping successfully with your transition<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.