Performance Consulting – Should You Worry?
An e-mail comes to your Inbox and the exclamation mark attached to it already drowns your body in cold sweat even before reading it.
You know you are not doing great, but is it necessary to go all the way and put yourself through the ordeal of performance consulting.
As you head out for what others before you described as certain death, you felt naked and looked upon with incredible interest by the entire office. As your heart prepares to skip a beat or two, you suddenly realize you have a contract with them and police would know where to look.
We will say it from the start.
Although the prospect is tempting, the ultimate purpose of performance consulting is not turning human beings into robots. Instead, it makes it easier for employees and employers to meet halfway and contribute to each other’s good interest.
Performance consulting is not about an expert taking a huge magnifying glass to look for flaws, keep track of lost time, or pour sugar in the coffee machine to stimulate engagement at the job.
While all those methods might work, a simpler, holistic strategy can do much better, without scaring your employees into not leaving their cubicle until a psychotherapist comes to their aid.
Performance consulting is the activity that focuses on what people do and what goals or conditions need to be accomplished for them to perform better. Such an initiative is typically required when a company addressed the delicate topic of increasing efficiency as well as employee engagement.
Trying to improve performance sometimes fails because the concept is taken as a whole and its components are ignored.
Performance consulting goes deeper into the problem, examining the underlying factors and analyzing each one’s contribution.
Knowledge, skill, motivation, and environment are the key sectors where one should look when addressing performance.
Maybe the employee fails to deliver as expected because his knowledge and skill levels are too limited for the project in hand. Alternatively, his motivation could be low making him/her dread each day at the job. Sometimes, the environment is the one to blame.
A typical process of performance consulting requires answering to a distinct set of questions, each one getting us closer to the dreamed solution.
- What is the problem?
- Who is involved?
Drawing thick boundaries around an issue helps channel resources in that direction. It might look like finger pointing soon to turn into a witch-hunt, but correctly identifying the parts involved is critical, mostly because the problem gets contained before it spread and disrupts the rest of the team.
- What is happening now?
- What do we want to happen?
Freezing processes and analyzing distinct states is the only way in which goals could be addressed.
Failing to answer these two simple questions is like driving a car without having a destination. You could keep going indefinitely, or until you run out of gas. That is not something a company would want.
The next mandatory step in performance consulting is to evaluate the cost of bridging the gap between current reality and expectations. Assessing the impact of doing nothing, as well as confirming that the work will be able to deliver value are last steps before the action plan can be allowed to kick in.
Making good people better does not have to be traumatic experience.
Old school bosses that would yell you into over-achieving are close to becoming outdated. Performance consulting is mostly based today on honest talks that always approach things from a constructive, positive side.
Employers no longer react only when a stick or carrot is shown to them, but rather when a genuine need to improve comes in their heart organically. Using gloves when dealing with performance issues is always recommended, as there is no purpose in making someone better if the upbringing process also outputs hatred.
Performance consulting has better odds of scoring concrete results when genuine communication took place between the employee and the expert.
Chatting over the Internet might help you order pizza, but when it comes to molding a new personality or discreetly addressing flaws, nothing beats face-to-face interaction. Facial expression and body language often tell more about the problem than one can say aloud, and that is the point when a performance consultant needs to step in and affirm its skills as a people reader.
Whether you are an employee struggling a bit with the tasks in hand, or an employer with a genuine desire to help your people, performance consulting is a much-needed step towards success and workspace happiness.
© New To HR