Being specific gets results

Lily Tomlin QuoteWhen conducting career development planning and performance appraisals, the biggest turn off for both managers and team members is having nebulous, non specific wish washy discussion around the achievement of accountabilities and KPI’s. Sometimes individuals and managers may not even realise that this is the problem but it’s almost impossible to have an interesting review when talking in terms of ‘always, usually and generally’. It gives no substance or tangible direction for people at all.

The same goes for comments from manager such as – ‘Joe Bloggs is doing well here but I’m not sure that they are quite right for that area/quite ready for that role’… What does that mean? Where does a person go with that info? It may be that there is just a need to have more practice to demonstrate enough experience and that’s fine so be clear… OR it could be there are some actual gaps where a plan cab be developed to bridge them.

The thing is; if someone feels that something is not quite right, a role is not suitable, there is something missing or that someone is not ready, observations will always be based on some kind of tangible info.. Managers need to use this to help develop their people.

Encourage people to demonstrate their value add with real life examples. These may be things such as;

  1. An occasion where they have added additional value to an existing client by solving a particularly difficult issue
  2. Provided skills development opportunities to a person in their team
  3. Met a prospective new client at a networking function and then followed up to arrange a catch up
  4. Putting forward a good idea and then following up with the right people to execute it either with you or without you, demonstrating interest in the progress along the way.

Providing specific examples can then lead an individual to see how their work is linking their accountabilities and KPIs to other areas and their overall success.

For example: If there are accountabilities around assisting team members with their skills development and also something around adding value to the company, you can see how example 4 above could be combines to be applicable in a different context for both.

I’ll explain here. Adding value is the idea to improve a process/add a new service, etc. and then the skills development will come with introducing the idea to the people who will execute it. Mentoring may form part of this for both individuals as well.

When performance appraisals are completed properly, they should tie all aspects of a role in together to form a nice picture for an individual. With the right assistance, people will learn how to demonstrate meeting their accountabilities very easily and will quickly determine how to close the gaps on their performance.

Next time, I will go into further details around career development goals and how they are useless unless you get specific!


“Try something different if you want a different outcome”

Until next time


Speak Your Mind