As businesses reform after the pandemic, resetting goals and raising performance standards are key management skills.

Job descriptions are a great guide to understanding the purpose of the role and its main tasks and responsibilities and to identify the general areas of knowledge and skills required for success. However, they tend to be static and generalised. What is needed is a performance plan that raises performance expectations beyond the job description and beyond the current level of performance.

Here are some key questions for your own reflection and for discussion with others. Hold these discussions not only with the job holder or job holders but with your peer group of managers or, others with whom the person’s job interlinks.

  • What are the current outputs achieved?
  • What are the optimum outputs?
  • What impact do these outputs have on the organisation and on others?
  • What factors push towards these optimum outputs or, pull away from them?
  • How can you take advantage of these factors or, mitigate them?
  • What are the key actions to achieve these optimum outputs?
  • What are the key skills or areas of knowledge to achieve these optimum outputs?

Take this example: the job description for the sales executives specifies that they must maintain ongoing relationships with clients to understand their needs and know how to match them with the right services when these became available. Discussions around the above questions led to the sales team changing the type of conversations they had with clients, the information they collected from them and how they recorded this information and identified the circumstances in which to involve others. This levelled up performance expectations across the team and, also helped each person identify what to do more of or differently to raise the bar.

These are essential conversations to get businesses back on track.

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©Janice Caplan 2020