Performance Management

Managing Long-Term Projects: Why People Procrastinate – and How To Get Them To Stop

Does this sound familiar? A solid performer on your team is tackling an important project that will require sustained effort over a long period of time. Despite her best intentions, day-to-day stuff keeps getting in the way. Then, with the deadline right around the corner, she drops everything and scrambles to finish the project. As a manager, wouldn’t it be great if you could help your people avoid the last-minute rush and create sustained effort on long-term projects? In this Quick Take, you will learn the concept of “temporal discounting” – and why it almost guarantees that long-term projects will get sidelined by day-to-day demands; how to structure projects, deadlines and incentives to promote sustained effort; and how temporal discounting affects bonuses and incentives.

Drifting Goals: Why Goals Often Erode Over Time

In this Quick Take, you will learn the phenomenon of “drifting goals” -- a psychological trap that can erode performance over time, why past performance should NOT be your starting point for setting goals, why goals should be more about changing behavior than keeping score, and questions to ask yourself before you even consider lowering your goals.

Performance Reviews: How to Deliver The Change Message

In this Quick Take you will learn the psychological reason why people resist change messages, a simple exercise that can help defuse that resistance and how to structure feedback performance reviews to help get the change you want.

Managing Difficult Projects: The Importance of Showing Early Progress

Kim is leading a major project that’s critical to her company’s success. A couple of months ago, people were enthusiastic and eager to get to work. But over time team members got distracted. Then frustrated. Intrinsic motivation faded and the project lost steam. In this Quick Take, you will learn the key component of employee motivation, why the perception of progress is the key to actual progress and how communicating the right information at the right time accelerates productivity.

Dealing With Mistakes: What High-Performing Teams Do Differently

Research shows that high-performing teams and low-performing teams differ on one important dimension: How they handle mistakes. In this Quick Take, you’ll learn how to cultivate a team environment that gets mistakes out in the open where they can be dealt with, and why it’s important to celebrate mistakes and the people who point them out.

ABC Method: Handling a Bad Attitude

In every organization you have a few people with really BAD attitudes. The guy who has trouble dealing with authority … the woman who shows up late all the time … or the average performers who put in minimal effort but continually complain about their mediocre pay and lack of advancement. You could just terminate these employees. But let’s assume they’ve got skills you need and you decide they’re worth saving. This training module will show how to confront 'bad-attitude' employees the right way, and maximize the odds that they’ll change themselves and become better team players.

How to Drain the Drama and Emotion From Salary Reviews

Discussion about salary is one of the most emotionally charged topics in the workplace. Why, because people often equate their self worth and value with the size of their raise. When they don’t get what they think they deserve, they walk away thinking, 'Why doesn’t the company love me anymore.' In this Quick Take you’ll learn: Why the size of the raise isn’t what causes drama in salary reviews. Why the real problem is the manager, not the employee. And, a technique you can use to communicate more effectively when it comes to money.

Delegation: How to Get Results Through Other People

If delegation were simply about passing our work on to others, everyone would be great at it. But delegation is more complicated than it looks – and getting it right is so critical. In this Quick Take you will learn why delegation is key to advancement for a leader, what the Multiplier Effect is and why it’s the Holy Grail of delegation, the Four Fatal Flaws that sabotage delegation, and finally, how to avoid the Abdication Trap.

Empowerment and Accountability: How Much Rope Should You Give Your People?

Should you let people manage their own projects, or should you ride hard on them? Research suggests that the answer is 'both.' When you create external accountabilities for your people, they’re more likely to succeed. In this Quick Take, you will learn what behavioral research has to say about deadline-setting and deadline missing, why people often fail to meet deadlines they set for themselves, and how the research applies more broadly to issues of employee empowerment and accountability.

Progressive Discipline: The “Career Advocate” Method for Salvaging Endangered Employees

Managers often see the stages of progressive discipline as the opening acts leading up to firing of an employee. They focus on creating a paper trail to protect against potential lawsuits. But too many managers overlook the positive role progressive discipline can play, and they miss out on opportunities to change behavior and salvage employees who are worth trying to keep. That’s the main subject of this Quick Take, which will explore what managers can do to maximize the likelihood that “endangered” employees will turn themselves around.
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