If you want to be a Growth Leader —i.e. a leader who inspires and drives results— then it’s essential to know how you will measure your team’s performance and build a culture of continuous improvement.
As a leader, your job is to steer your team towards success by helping them achieve the individual objectives that contribute to organisational goals. As we’ve shared, it is crucial to do the right things first; measuring the right things is essential. While measurement might be analytical, providing constructive feedback requires emotional intelligence and a more human touch. Let's look at a few key components that make up a robust strategy for measuring performance.
Clear Team Objectives and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Measuring performance begins with a crystal-clear understanding of your team’s objectives, which should align seamlessly with broader organisational goals. Like all objectives, they need to be concrete and measurable. You will also need to establish a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) that indicate your team's progress.
For example, if your organisational goal is 1 million in sales and your team is responsible for 500k, you will likely want to focus on KPIs like the number of leads, conversion rates, average deal size, etc., to ensure your team is on the right path.
Individual Performance Metrics
In addition to team objectives and metrics, it’s important to set individual objectives and metrics for each team member. Break them into specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) targets. For instance, setting a goal to close a specific number of deals within a quarter with prospects in a particular industry could be a tangible performance benchmark. Just remember to set realistic objectives and stick to them, as direct reports may feel unmotivated if the goalposts are constantly being moved.
Continuous Feedback and Monitoring
Developing a high-performance team or organisation requires feedback loops. You need to create a space where you can give direct reports constructive feedback and allow them to give feedback on your performance as a leader. To achieve this, create regular, structured one-on-one meetings for team members to discuss challenges and their personal development, in summary, a moment to provide you with their concerns and questions. Remember that it's not just about the quantitative achievements but also understanding the human aspects that will contribute to each team member’s performance.
Additionally, consider building an effective reporting and meeting structure to facilitate seamless communication within the team. That is, team members need to be held accountable as much to each other as they are to you. Regular team meetings should emphasise the importance of collaboration while celebrating individual and team successes, both big and small. Eventually, it’s essential to debrief teams and analyse successes so everyone can gain an understanding of what’s working and what needs to be improved upon.
Best Practices for Optimizing Performance
Putting all these ideas into action can be challenging. If not done well, you could end up hindering your cause more than helping it.
As such, here are a few best practices to keep in mind as you implement your performance measurement program:
Weekly Start: Look-back and Feed-Forward: Kickstart each week with a short (15-30min) team meeting that reflects on the previous week's performance. Analyse what worked well and what could be improved, setting the stage for future success.
Gap Analysis for Feedback: Focus on the variance between planned and actual outcomes, enabling team members to learn (from the root causes) and improve.
Workload Balance: Continuously assess team member’s individual balance between workload, ability, and productivity. Ensure that the work aligns with the available resources regarding time and competence. No one wants to feel overworked or bored out.
Data-Driven Decision Making: Lean on data-driven insights to make informed decisions. Maintaining a balanced scorecard with KPIs facilitates also effective reporting to stakeholders and management.
Measuring and optimising team performance requires a holistic approach combining quantitative and qualitative approaches. Embracing the principles and best practices discussed here can help you navigate the complexities of team management and propel your direct reports towards sustained achievement.
Are you looking for help improving your team’s performance? We can help! Schedule a free clarity call to discuss how to steer the performance of your direct reports and achieve your organisational goals.