Can a few simple steps turn your hard working financial teams into genuine superstars? You’re already getting a lot out of your top performers, but some simple adjustments can help both of you optimize your working relationship and allow each of you to gain without compromising the interests of the other. Try these moves.
Make growth, evaluation, and feedback a daily (not yearly) occurrence
If you’re like most managers, you usually save your most important performance related comments for the annual review cycle. In the moment, failures and victories are met with brief, unrehearsed praise or mildly harsh words…and then the subject is shelved for a serious conversation six months down the road. But your words will have more impact if you fully address the issue in real time. When your employee hits a home run or makes a mistake, schedule some time that very week to sit down for a meaningful debriefing session. And keep this session focused on a single goal: Helping the employee learn and grow from the experience.
Keep the meeting friendly
If you launch into the meeting with an adversarial or accusatory tone, you’ve already lost control of the room. Constantly reinforce the idea that you’re on the same side, you share the same goals, and you’re not on the attack. The employee’s job is to think about his or her decisions during the episode. Your job is to maintain trust, keep communication channels open, and keep his thoughts focused on his own performance, not on you.
Gain buy-in and clear commitment
While you work on keeping the employee open, not defensive and closed off, you’ll also need to check in frequently to make sure she understands your point of view and is ready and able to provide you with confirmation. Stop frequently to clarify that you’re on the same page. When you’re expressing something you’d like the employee to do, stop doing, or change, encourage her to provide verbal commitment and discuss the goal in her own words.
Keep your gaze focused up, toward the stars
Find ways to keep your words, your tone and your overall mission inspiring and uplifting, not depressing or dark. As much as possible, look forward toward a bright future. Generate of vision of how this future will look for the employee, the team, and the company as a whole. Then share this vision with the employee and spark an interest in growth, challenge, and victory. As the meeting ends, the employee should leave feeling better than he or she did at the beginning, and so should you.
For more on how to inspire your employees and provide continual, year-round coaching sessions, contact the staffing and financial management experts at Cordia.