Category Listing

Performance Management

  • Motivating Staff to Top Performance: What They Really Want from Their Work

    Much has been written about rewarding and recognizing staff members for a job well done. While money, trinkets, and prizes – extrinsic motivators – have temporary “feel good” effects, real motivation occurs in a much different way. More powerful is the satisfaction inherent in doing the work itself ¬¬ – intrinsic motivation. Here is how this translates into leadership strategies that unlock staff drive to achieve their best work.


  • 3 Things Sure to Derail 360-degree Feedback

    Research and experience has shown that leaders can benefit from receiving feedback from their staff, other leaders, and their own manager, i.e. 360-degree feedback. However, if the process is not appropriately employed, the results can be unreliable, making the feedback inaccurate and even damaging. Avoid undesirable outcomes by becoming alert for these significant trouble spots.


  • How to Mediate Conflict Between Staff Members

    In a perfect work world, employees would manage their own conflict, maturely talking through issues in a professional, respectful manner. In reality, however, they often lack the necessary communication skills as well as the initiative to discuss their differences. Managers need to intervene, helping them clear the air so they can work together more effectively. Here’s a model you can use to facilitate these discussions.


  • Development Planning: 3 Big Mistakes to Avoid and What to Do Instead

    One main reason top talent leaves an organization is lack of training, coaching, or mentoring, all critical components of development planning. Ambitious employees want to work in an organization that invests in them, paving the way for advancement in both skills and position. A development plan should provide a road map to strengthen an employee’s ability to perform the current job and/or create a path to a desired career goal. Why do so many development plans fall short, missing the mark, contributing to the exodus rather than the retention of good talent? Here are the three biggest mistakes managers make:


  • What to Do When a Top Performer Slips Up

    Top performers, by definition, tend to consistently do work that exceeds established standards. Holding themselves to high standards, they are driven to get outstanding results in all dimensions of the work they do. When top performers face the rare misstep, they typically self-regulate by moving quickly to own and repair the problem. Common wisdom about performance problems dictates that giving constructively critical feedback and assisting the staff person in creating solutions is a good way for leaders to work through the issue. For top performers, however, this may be the wrong approach . Assuming the slip up is not of career-derailing magnitude, here are some tips to appropriately help the top performer have a successful recovery.


  • How to Engage Employees in Performance Discussions

    Have you ever been disappointed by the lack of employee participation in performance discussions? More often than you’d like, have you received minimal input and dialogue, even when asking probing questions? Studies tell us employees are quiet, in part, because they don’t really believe performance discussions are valuable. They describe them as unrelated to their job duties, condescending, meaningless, and not a true indicator of their performance. While it’s challenging to overcome these obstacles, it IS possible to create a true dialogue by following these guidelines.


© 2017 Louellen Essex and Associates
408 Parkers Lake Road #211
Wayzata, Minnesota 55391
Office: 612.867.8291