Blog Article

When people change, organisations can transform

Posted by Jill Connell

Jill Connell

We so enjoy hearing CEOs say their people are focused on achieving the results the CEO wants. One of our passions is to help more CEOs say this more often.

To achieve this, people need to believe the organisation’s goals are clear and attainable, even if stretching. The goals should also be quantified and have clear deadlines where possible. This can be challenging during times of rapid change.

Achieving target performance during times of rapid change
Many times we hear CEOs say they want their business to change more rapidly. Their high level direction is clear, but the organisation’s more specific goals, milestones and action plans are in flux. Even their organisation’s business model, operating models and organisation structure might be reviewed and changed. A critical challenge is to focus and motivate people to achieve the new goals, while still delivering the necessary financial results.

When people change, organisations can change
Even with impressive strategic plans, successful business transformation only happens when people change and take action. Motivating people to change and to lead transformation in their areas, can be challenging.

Hay Group’s research demonstrates that employee motivation and contribution to achievement of the organisation’s goals are influenced by many factors. Four recommendations to help focus and motivate your people include:

1. Focus on outcomes
Use outcome-oriented goals (rather than activity-oriented goals) to help ensure employees are focused on achieving the most important goals for the organisation. This should encourage employees to review and adapt activity plans, so they implement the most effective combination of activities to achieve the desired outcomes.

2. Create the expectation of transformation
Communicate to create understanding and alignment to the transformation. However this is rarely enough to focus people on achieving the new goals. Use performance management to ensure the interests of individuals and the organisation are aligned, and to drive change in behaviour and therefore culture. Used effectively, performance management creates the traction necessary – by shifting peoples understanding of success, creating an understanding that success in their role is determined by their achievement of the new, mutually agreed goals.

The performance scorecard should reflect the organisations goals, and be designed to prompt the desired culture change, as well as balance key financial, internal and external measures, and the short and long-term timeframes.

3. Keep key people motivated
There is a risk that people might become de-motivated if they think the goal-posts are continually moving and their achievements against old KPIs are not recognised. So leaders should be mindful to recognise what has been achieved, call to account what has not, while ensuring fairness.

Leaders should focus on open communication and building alignment to the transformation. It is important to communicate the various development opportunities that business transformation can provide employees, such as learning new capabilities; developing their own career journeys; and sharing in the satisfaction of transforming their organisation to be more successful in the future.

4. Review performance regularly
While the progress of the overall business transformation should be reviewed regularly, so too should individual employee performance. Regular discussions with individuals about their performance should make sure that any changes to the business goals are understood and that employee’s performance KPIs are updated collaboratively and are focused on the top priorities for the organisation at all times. These discussions should also recognise achievements, help identify development opportunities and aim to motivate the individual to succeed.

When applied well, performance management encourages people to buy into the transformation journey, embrace the new culture as a broader team, and be motivated to achieve the organisation’s goals.

How can your organisation use performance management more effectively to support business transformation?

 

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