One of the things that has stood out for us as a company over the last few weeks has been that despite the obvious upheaval, our method of supporting team performance (we call it a Performance Drumbeat) hasn’t had to change too much.  Yes we have made adjustments, however at a time when there is already enough change forced upon our team, being able to keep such an important part of our business the same has been very helpful.

Improve performance

Performance in real-time

A few years back we used our EmployeeLife survey platform to post a short poll across LinkedIn about the success or otherwise of approaches to supporting team performance. What we discovered is that less than a third of respondents believed that their company’s performance system actually improved performance. Most of the feedback was associated with the idea that ‘performance’ is often a backwards looking process.  Many approaches are (still) focused on addressing performance after the fact, which is a bit like driving a car using the rear-vision mirror…not particularly effective for dealing with what’s right in front of you.

What is a performance drumbeat?

A performance drumbeat is simply a cycle of important success habits that keeps everyone and everything dancing to the same beat. With a simple and clear framework to guide performance, it puts everyone in the best position to succeed (and adjust) together.

The characteristics of an effective performance drumbeat are shown in this diagram.

performance drumbeat approach works best by setting a small number of highly important ‘lead indicator’ goals, and then having everyone reflect on their own performance each week, shared with their colleagues.  Not only does this help everyone to stay focused on what’s most important right now, it allows real-time adjustments to be made when they are most important – in real-time. 

The main adjustment we have made to our approach is shortening the goal-setting/intetion cycle.from quarterly to weekly. The reason is that this is the timeframe that feels most in our control right now. Sure we are still planning for the medium and long-term, but right now it’s about small snack-sized goals. It works for us.

How can you do this too?

We created a simple platform that is also available to other workplaces, called My Employee Life.  It’s super easy to get started, and in it’s most basic form is easy for everyone to pick up quickly.  If you are already doing weekly reports through email or spreadsheet, adding My Employee Life as a way to track short-term goals might save you quite a bit of time.  Get in touch to learn more.

Jason Buchanan – General Manager – Insights & Innovation

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