Ongoing honest conversations

As leaders we’ll be in the thick of year-end discussions right now, so it’s timely for all of us to think about how we manage the performance of our teams. It not only gives us a chance to role model the Ways of Being Co-op through our leadership but also to spot and strengthen them in others.

Our Talkback results show that we need to focus on giving regular feedback that helps to improve the performance of colleagues – the score relating to this for 2016 has dropped. So, we caught up with Simon Mills, the Co-op’s Head of Performance, to get his take on performance management in 2017.

Talking everyday

“Great performance management is about having performance-related conversations every day. It’s about spotting those opportunities to talk about individual and team performance on a daily basis.”

Using our skills

“The core skills that we all explored at Being a Co-op Leader definitely come into play. Particularly, honest conversations and coaching. That ability to give timely positive and, if need be, constructive feedback to team members is key. And not to jump to the solutions ourselves but to help team members arrive at their own solutions through coaching. All contribute to a better outcome.”

If you missed the workshops or need a quick reminder, then log onto the Being a Co-op Leader website (LDZ) and watch the short videos about CEDAR and GROW.

Good practice

“When it works really well there should be no surprises at mid-year or year-end. The colleague and manager are both responsible for being clear on their expectations and having regular discussions about how things are going throughout the year. Talk about what’s happening on the ground and how this relates to the overall Co-op Purpose. Recognise when things are going well and call it out when they’re not. It’s good to review what colleagues are doing but as important to consider how they’re doing it?”

So what does work – what should managers do to make performance management truly valued?

“We’ve been drawing attention to these things for a while. Colleagues respond well when they trust the process and that’s down to the quality of the conversation with their manager. If you’re committed to open and honest dialogue with your teams you will see positive outcomes.”

Some simple ways you can improve your performance management

  • Have more informal performance conversations, make performance part of your everyday
  • Look forward in performance reviews, not just back
  • Use peer – not just manager – feedback to help in evaluating performance
  • Use resources available on My.Performance intranet like:
  • Pocket guides
  • Your Performance

Ways of Being Co-op toolkit

“When done well the formal year-end conversations should be something colleagues look forward to as a chance to recognise, grow and develop further.”