So often when discussing performance management with managers I hear them say “Well there may be something wrong at home!” There might be –life is full of ups and downs and I don’t know many people in that mid-term of life (35-60) when elderly parents or children are not threatening to derail the tranquillity of home life. Most people are really good at dealing with that stuff, generally when there is tension at home well balanced people are energised by coming to work and achieving something worthwhile and purposeful. I wholly respect and value the many managers who are supportive and respectful of staff needs for flexibility and an occasional lightening of load.
But here is the rub of it. More people are conscious of stress spilling over from work to home than the other way around. If someone is struggling at work, underperforming, lacking in concentration and making poorer decisions than usual –look to the work place first.
- Ask yourself as a manager, what is happening in this environment that is causing your people to be less than their best. Ask your team the questions:
- “What is getting in your way here, in our team, that is stopping you do your best work?”
- “What am I doing that gets in your way when you are working?”
- Get to understand what is really important to them, what works for them, what makes no sense to them and what frustrates them most.
- Become truly curious about the way they experience working in your team. Be real with them when stuff is out of your control, tell them and help them think through how they are going to respond to and deal with it.
- Role model showing appreciation by spontaneously telling them what they are doing well and asking the corker of a question. “What is it that I am doing that really helps you be at your best”
You may find that the people who appreciate your focus are not those that work for you but those they live with!