Despite lots of commitment and hard work from highly capable managers and individual contributors, many companies aren't satisfied with the performance levels and results they’re getting.

Avoiding these pitfalls will improve performance:

Pitfall 1: Being “Nice” – Keeping someone in a job for which they aren't a fit isn't nice, it’s cruel. It’s also bad for business. Fact is that hesitating to develop, redeploy or exit underperforming talent does a great disservice to the person who’s struggling and to the company as well. Take action if performance standards are not being met. Candid communication and trust are vital to effective people management. Encourage openness, be objective and support those who want to learn more about other internal/external opportunities for which they’re a better fit. Hiding the truth helps no one. Treat every person with dignity and respect, and tell them the truth.

Pitfall 2: Mistreating People – Companies that didn't take care of their employees by providing adequate individual growth and development opportunities during The Great Recession essentially held people hostage. And companies that treated external job applicants poorly during the recruiting process were negligent, and in some extreme cases, arrogant jerks. Companies that committed both sins could be hit with a triple whammy. First, they could lose top talent who've simply been biding time until the job market improves so that they can get a fresh start elsewhere. Second, they could be left with armies of actively disengaged employees who are no longer content with just having a job. Third, bad reputations for developing employees and handling external candidates could make it hard to import top talent.

Pitfall 3: Automation Infatuation – Talent management software suites add value by facilitating more efficient data collection, analysis and reporting. This makes it simpler to integrate people processes like performance management, development planning and compensation. It’s easy to be seduced into believing that better technology is "the solution" vs. "a tool" to drive better human mindsets, skills and behaviors. While automation can make processes run better, it can’t make managers and employees have meaningful discussions about performance, potential and development. It can’t convince a leader to let go of top talent so they can take a better fitting job. Nor can it explain to a marginal performer why they won’t receive a salary increase.

Please comment below to add other pitfalls that prevent sustainable high performance.

Read Full Post