The Daily Check to Great Performance
Managers have the very important job of guiding their teams to meet – and try to exceed – a certain level of performance. For an organization to fully realize the benefits of the process, system, and behavior improvements that are implemented as part of Trindent engagements, managers must actively lead their teams both through and after the change implementation.
In past engagements , Trindent has observed clients who lacked a process to track, review or enforce team productivity and targets, and in these situations, the first recommendation we made was the introduction of a daily schedule check. In this end-of-day meeting, managers were coached to implement a “result, schedule, people” oriented framework as an ideal way to have short and concise result-oriented discussions with their teams. This allowed managers to have ongoing visibility to team performance, and a quick way to ascertain the causes of underperformances and how to correct them to get productivity back on track.
Let’s look at the daily schedule check, and the three components that make it effective and concise.
The first component of the daily schedule check is for staff to update their manager on what was completed that day. This initial part of the update is important to enable managers to determine how members of their teams are performing, and whether goals and targets need to be adjusted going forward. If a high performing employee continuously exceeds their target, they may need more challenge, and can also potentially be utilized to train or mentor lower performing team members. Conversely, if a low-performing employee continues to fall short of their target, being able to see their daily results gives their manager ongoing visibility to poor performance and an opportunity to investigate the underlying issues of the performance in order to quickly resolve it and turn it around.
In the schedule portion of the update, team members report on tasks that have been started but are not complete. This allows a manager to gauge variance against expected results, and determine whether their team has a handle on the situation given that variance. Some amount of variability is normal in any role, but continuous variance in results is a signal for the manager to step in and discuss options to remedy the situation in order to enable staff to once again reach their objective.
The people section of the update is to discuss any employee-related obstacles that are preventing the meeting of objectives. For team members, this is the perfect opportunity to share updates about a subject that’s usually difficult to bring up. This is also an important component for managers, as it’s their responsibility to resolve issues with any employee performance that may be affecting the output of others.
“Active management should be a day-to-day activity highlighted by simple feedback given more frequently – feedback is less effective as time elapses between performance and feedback.”
With this simple framework – results, schedule, people – managers can use the end of day schedule check to effectively manage employee performance and provide support when variances occur. Its daily cadence allows for ongoing visibility to results, and gives managers to ability to quickly make adjustments and changes so that variances don’t become the norm.