09 Jul 2012

By Michael LeBlanc, LCSW, Intertek

Michael is a Senior Consultant for Intertek and works from the Lafayette, Louisiana office. Specifically, Michael consults and trains companies across the oil and gas industry to better enhance performance and safety management.

A key factor in your success regarding managing performance of an employee is how strongly you want them to succeed.  This means your thoughts and feelings about the employee are aligned with your desire for them to succeed.   The manager’s inner alignment can enhance the use of any management ‘tool’ you may use. 

When you ‘Google’ performance management tools about 90, 900,000 results appear.  There are numerous ideas and tools available.  But no tool will be as successful as your own personal and genuine desire for the employee’s success.  I remember when a wonderful leader I worked with many years ago asked me what he could do for me.  I thought for a moment and then told him… “Think well about me.”  This is what your employees want from you: “Think well about them and want success for them.”  Your inner alignment of the employee’s best interest is the key to any performance management system, much more so than the tool itself.  Prior to the use of any tool or conversation model it’s simple:, If you do not align and genuinely want the employee’s success,  then you will have minimal to no success improving their performance regardless of how good the performance management tool is you are using.

For example, two managers receive training and both use the same ‘performance management conversation tool’.  They both follow identical steps on how to provide performance feedback to an employee.  One manager genuinely believes and wants success for their employee (Positive Alignment) and the other genuinely doesn’t like and is frustrated with the employee (Negative Alignment).  Regardless of how ‘skilled’ each manager is at using the ‘tool’ the outcomes will be significantly different.  Unfortunately, most of the training they receive is about how to use the tool, but that isn’t the key to their success.  Their alignment to desire success for the employee is key. 

In the current work environment, there’s a lot of pressure to succeed. Many thoughts come and go, but the opportunity to creative positive results is there if you want to see positive changes – or positive alignment.  So what do you do if you think and feel negative about an employee?  Can you change how you feel about them?  The answer is yes, if you want to.  If you do change, then the outcomes will change too.  If you do not want to change, then the situation will stay the same or get worse…just give it more time.  Wanting the best for your employee is an internal job and part of your responsibility as a manager/supervisor.

Next week, learn the three major steps today’s companies can take toward achieving positive alignment. If you have a question or comment about today’s expert blog, please leave it below and Intertek will get back to you.

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