There are a number of challenges that can prove to be an obstacle to effective performance management. Obstacles can include but are not limited to:
- writing a poorly structured strategy,
- failure to communicate the strategy to stakeholders/staff,
- failure to achieve buy-in of the strategy,
- not measuring progress,
- not holding at least quarterly strategy review sessions,
- not taking the time to define success and celebrate it along the way,
- not adapting to changing circumstances,
- and not giving your team the necessary authority or tools to accomplish their jobs.
It’s vitally important to steer the strategic planning process effectively to avoid those common pitfalls.
First of all, it’s important to pick the right objectives and goals that will drive the results you seek. Defining those falls into the realm of creating an effective strategy. It’s important to pick top priorities for your organization, and determine through goals and actions how you will support them. The goals themselves should be set up using the S.M.A.R.T. technique (more info here: mystrategicplan.com/resources/smart-goal-setting-examples/)
Once you have determined your strategy, it’s vitally important that you communicate the strategy to your staff so they know what is expected of them and how to measure success. By doing that you’ll be far more likely to get your team to buy in to the strategy and drive the right daily decisions. Here’s a good video on that topic:
Once you’ve set the expectations, be sure to measure your team’s progress against those goals. Check in on your progress as a team on a regular basis. That way your team will have a clear idea of what’s important and you can adjust your strategy if needed at that time. Celebrate your successes. It can help drive momentum on your team.
Remember, performance management is an ongoing process. Continually communicating strategy to your staff, measuring progress and adapting to changing conditions are essential parts of that ongoing cycle. The more everyone is on the same page, the more you can drive the right decisions organization-wide.