Setting the right performance standards

SETTING THE RIGHT PERFORMANCE STANDARDS

The success of a company is bound to the performance, productivity and dedication of its employees. You can have all the necessary tools for success, but if your employees are not all on the same page, your efforts and resources will go to waste. Setting performance standards will allow you to determine if your staff is meeting company targets and whether your organization is going down the right path. It’s critical that everyone values and works towards the same goals. Performance standards help workers understand the importance of their role and its impact on the company’s success. The following tips can help you set up performance standards for your company.

Collaboration: When setting up goals for each position, management should collaborate with employees. Both sides must work together to make sure the standards are realistic and in line with company goals. Also when employees participate in this process, they will feel valued and be more motivated as a result.

Hierarchy: Make sure to create standards according to the hierarchy of the position. Management roles should have a higher standards for accountability, productivity and leadership.

Job Description: Go over the responsibilities and requirements of each position, sit with the employee and discuss what types of standards can be set for the role. This will help you determine if they are meeting targets later on and compare employees performance.

Data: Consider data from previous years to help determine new standards. Having real statistics will help you to set realistic targets.

Prioritize: Every position will have multiple goals to meet, but some of those targets will be more important and have a higher impact on the company’s success. It’s vital that management and employees understand this and give priority to the correct targets when setting up standards.

Monitoring: Establish how your management will be able to monitor employee performance. Things like quality, quantity, cost and completion time should be accounted for. Based on these elements you can determine if a person is being effective and productive.

Performance Evaluation: Set up times for your management to meet with employees and discuss their performance. Preferably every 6 months or at the end of each project. This discussion needs to be a two way review. Give your employee the opportunity to voice their concerns and let you know what type of issues they are experiencing and the improvements they recommend to better deal with these problems in the future. Encourage management to give constant feedback and maintain open communication with employees.

Performance standards should be communicated in a way that everyone at the company understands. Bear in mind that sometimes external aspects will constrain your employees’ ability to perform at optimal levels. Talk to them and let them know their well-being is as important as their output. Make sure everyone has the necessary tools to perform their job and offer a good work environment. Lacking either these will greatly affect staff performance. Most importantly constantly review and update performance standards. Constant self-evaluation is a necessity for success.

V. Sanchez  |  DBPC BLOG

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Dress Code for a Business

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Similarly, your attire is a reflection of the kind of individual you are. Consequently, a bit part of your personality is displayed through your choice of wardrobe. Of course, various circumstances come with different dress requirements and you can’t always wear things you would like to. That is why it’s important to know the audience you will have at each event, be it a black tie banquet or a regular day at work. There is a large variety of business-related occasions you could be invited to attend, the following guidelines will help you select successful outfits for every occasion.

Comfort
As much as it may seem dully repetitive, your days are still filled with unpredictable circumstances. Dressing with a “from the car to the desk” sort of attitude won’t benefit you in making effective wardrobe choices. Wear things that will allow you to feel comfortable and look professional at all times. Extremely tight clothing might be appropriate at times, however, in most cases, it could make people – yourself included – very uncomfortable. To summarize comfort in a few words: avoid the snug, cropped and see-through. Go for the covered and relaxed, but not baggy, apparel.

Class
Trends come and go, but there are certain classic business pieces which never go out of style. For men, you can’t go wrong with a black suit and either a white or blue shirt. The same goes for women – a black suit with pants or a skirt and a neutral or bright colour top and black closed-toe heels are a recipe for success. If your environment allows, feel free to mix it a bit and trade the black pants for a pair of sleek dark jeans or switch the dress shirt with a crisp V-neck tee. Don’t be afraid to put your own twist on it.

Colour
Colour can make or break an outfit. If you are not the adventurous type when it comes to the hues you put on, stay on the safe side with neutral and a few earth tones. It starts when you shop. Be sure to buy multifunctional clothing in regards to colour. Having a dark and light suit will give you lots of options to mix and match. Find a few neutral tops that go with both outfits and most likely you’ll have at least two weeks’ worth of outfits. Depending on your personality and the situation, you can go bright and bold, but do so appropriately and with taste.

First impressions may be lasting, but if not maintained by proper character, they can very easily be forgotten. Your day-to-day demeanour – including your attire – will not only cause your acquaintances to remember previous good things about you, but it will also put you in a position of greater respect and admiration. Let your clothing be an amplifier of your character and not a play down on who you are.

Kowlessar | Business

How to Build your Team’s Vision

A strong, cohesive, driving vision isn’t something that management can force.  It must be something that you sell like any other good product.  Your workers have to really believe in what you’re doing for it to be a legitimately unifying narrative.  Below are a few tips for getting your team on the right track.

Understand your audience

What might be inspiring to one employee might simply enlist apathy in another.  Think about how they see their role and what they do.  Learn more about what motivates them and incorporate that into your vision.

Focus on the why

People need a reason to become invested in something.  Simply speaking to your employees passionately about something isn’t going to win them over.  Make it clear how their role contributes to the overall mission, and more importantly, how the company achieving its goals will benefit them.  It’s naïve to assume that employees will be invested in the company’s success for its own sake, so making that connection between their personal goals and the company’s will help get them engaged.

Encourage collaboration over competition

A great vision should encourage employees to band together to achieve their goals.  Good worker relations will build strong team dynamics that boost performance better than pitting workers against one another.

Daily operations should accurately reflect your vision

Too many companies will preach a certain set of values and then operate in a completely contradictory manner.  If one of your company’s tenets is transparency for example, then this transparency needs to extend beyond just being open to co-workers and clients about your processes.  Management also needs to be transparent about why certain decisions are being made.  Similarly, if your company is focused on open communication and collaboration, managers need to be part of the conversation and brainstorming as much as anyone else.  They shouldn’t just delegate the thinking to other people and then shuffle back into their office.  Employees should feel that their daily reality accurately reflects the company’s values.

There are plenty of different ways in which you can build company values that your team will internalize.  Just remember that your team is made up of human beings with their own unique desires and beliefs.  Design your vision with that in mind, and you should see great results.

Lance  |  DBPC BLOG

The Importance of Managing Opportunity Cost

Any time opportunity appears, there is going to be cost associated with it. Managing opportunity cost is crucial. One can think of opportunity cost as the measure of what you gain over what you lose. Any decision, no matter how small, is going to involve some opportunity cost. HBR Blog contributor Shane Frederick has a great article about this concept that any aspiring or existing salesman should take the time to read. We will outline a few of his key ideas below.

Understanding opportunity cost can be extremely useful for selling a product or service in a crowded marketplace. Cheaper products tend to draw attention to the fact that they’re inferior to more expensive ones; however, you can redirect their attention to something more positive by emphasizing the positives of saving the difference. Help the customer understand that if they buy your brand, then they can also buy a chocolate bar and a drink to go with that razor.

Similarly, if you have a high-cost or luxury brand product, you can show them that by paying more now, they will gain more in the long run. For example, if your product lasts longer, then customers save money by having to purchase less. Also, if you’re dealing with razors, for instance, you could focus on the cost of getting a cleaner, closer shave from a quality razor versus the cost getting of getting cuts and bumps from a cheaper one.

You can also downplay the cost of making a particular purchase by de-emphasizing the negatives rather than highlighting the positives. Frederick highlights the example of De Beers selling diamond earrings. They used the tagline “re-do the kitchen next year” to establish the idea that investing in diamonds now won’t set you back as much as you think – even if that isn’t necessarily true. It might take you much longer than a year to save up that much money again, but their marketing distracts you from that fact by making it seem like an inconsequential amount.

How effectively you manage your product’s opportunity cost is dependent on how intelligently you are able to frame it. If you can successfully trivialize or draw focus away from negatives while emphasizing positives, then you may be surprised at how effectively you can boost a product’s reputation in the minds of your consumers.

 

Lance | WI Blog