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Article: 7 Steps to Exceptional Staff Performance Related Resources

7 Steps to Exceptional Staff Performance
by Duncan Brodie

As a leader you know that your success depends on getting the best from those that you lead. So what steps can you take to move towards exceptional staff performance?

Step 1: Clarify roles

Organisations often go to great lengths to set out the job purpose, relationships and responsibilities. Despite this there is still often a lack of clarity with regard to roles. When people are clear on their role and how it fits into the overall deliverables then better performance is achieved. If you have not done so recently, take time to review roles and ask yourself how clear they are. Another option would be to set out your understanding of the roles and ask employees to do the same. This will enable you to determine areas of common understanding and disconnects.

Step 2: Set standards and performance criteria

When staff are clear on the standards to be achieved, and know how performance is to be measured, they have a greater chance of success. If they succeed, you succeed. Be specific when setting standards. For example:

* 10 new sales calls a day

* 95% of the number of debts over 60 days old to be collected each month

* Financial information to be issued to budget managers within 5 working days of the end of each month

In addition, make sure the performance measurement is clear. It might be a review of call logs or a simple calendar of dates of distribution.

Step 3: Praise people

We all know the positive impact of praise. It only takes a minute but can yield huge benefits in terms of motivation. Make it a goal to praise someone each day or two.

Step 4: Constructively criticise

When things are not going as well as you like, you start to get anxious and may say things or react in ways that you later regret. Constructive criticism involves:

* Telling people where they fall short of expectations

* Telling people how that made you feel

* Reminding them of how much you value them and their contribution

Constructive criticism is about being honest without making it personal.

Step 5: Coach and mentor

No one learned to ice skate standing at the edge of the ice rink watching. Coaching and mentoring is about unlocking potential, supporting and encouraging. You need to allow people to make mistakes and help them to learn from it.

Step 6: Appraise effectively

While appraisals involve reviewing performance and setting objectives, if this is all they do a huge opportunity is being missed. Start to view appraisals as sessions where staff learn about themselves and start to focus on their growth and development.

Step 7: Motivate

Almost every survey or piece of research that is done about staff states that money on its own is not a motivator. Yes people value what money allows them to do, but things like new challenges, special projects and self development is much more powerful. How are you motivating others and what could you do differently?

No one turns up at work with the intention of doing a bad job. By taking some very simple steps you and your team can start to deliver exceptional performance.

Duncan Brodie helps professionals to be great managers and leaders. Take the first step to unlocking your potential by signing up for his free monthly newsletter at

Duncan Brodie may be contacted at


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