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How to Get The Most Out of Your Team’s Performance

One of the biggest challenges we hear about as business advisors in Melbourne is how business owners can get the best performance from their team.

Fostering a high standard of performance from employees, or dealing with working standards that fall short of what they need and expect from their team, is often one of the biggest sources of stress for employers.

It’s common for business owners and managers to become frustrated about the quality of performance their team is delivering. This might mean the team are not approaching their duties in ways which seem obviously best practice, aren’t hitting the targets you expect or aren’t achieving the results you hoped for. These frustrations are compounded when business owners don’t know how to begin addressing the issues and improving the team’s performance.

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You could spend a lifetime devouring the numerous books, articles, videos and opinions on the topic of driving better performance, and many of these resources will contain useful information on factors like the wider business culture, clarity of purpose, effective leadership, and performance management. But perhaps one of the most direct and useful insights we have heard focusses on an individual’s motivation and their underlying desire to do a good job. This can be boiled down to one simple, direct question: ‘Is this your best work?’

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It is vital to recognise when your team has delivered their best. When a member or members of your team presents a project or any type of work output which falls short of your expectations, it is easy to see only the negatives and list off all their shortcomings. However, it is also obvious that expecting anything more than a genuine and honest best effort from anyone is to expect the impossible. It remains difficult, of course, to stay in this frame of mind and be grateful for their best effort when you are unhappy with the result or the final outcome. However, if they are only criticised for the ways in which the result is lacking, the team will quickly lose motivation as well as the opportunity to learn and build from their current position.

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The direct question ‘Is this your best work?’ might initially sound blunt and confronting, but used as a starting point for improvement it provides much greater benefits for both you and your team members. This simple question helps unpack a host of key issues around employee performance. It encourages team members to take responsibility and carefully consider whether their work is complete and as good as they can possibly make it, which improves efficiency and profitability by reducing the need for them to go back to the drawing board to address negative feedback. It also gives your team members increased opportunity to take charge of their own improvements as they push the boundaries of their current skills and abilities. For you as the business owner, having this open and honest dialogue based around what your team members’ genuine best work looks like at the moment provides you with a clear understanding of their current capabilities. This important insight allows you to establish targeted, positive interventions such as relevant, tailored training and mentoring which will achieve the required improvements.

If you need assistance with getting the most from your team’s performance, our advisors can help.