How Can I Best Enable My Employees’ High Performance? Great question

It turns out there’s robust data to help you to identify on what to focus & what to avoid.

Included in the graphic are 18 manager characteristics in decreasing order of their predicted impact on employee performance. Some manager characteristics have a much greater impact on employee performance than others, and one of the studied characteristics has a negative impact. Due to this wide variation in impact, it is critical for people managers to be aware both of performance drivers and performance “killers,”. The data highlights important implications for understanding the role of the manager as an enabler of workforce performance.

Nearly All Manager Activities Impact Performance: Despite the variation in impact from the items listed, nearly everything a manager does affects performance in some way. In fact, all but one of the 18 manager characteristics or behaviours improves individual performance. However, although there are numerous ways for managers to drive performance, no single activity stands out as the most important driver of employee performance.

Manager as Solutions Enabler: Six activities have a sizeable impact on individual performance: helping find solutions to problems at work, helping attain needed information, resources and technology, breaking down projects, translating long-term goals, clearly communicating expectations, and helping a team get started with a new project.  All six of these activities centre around managers providing employees with specific, tangible answers and assistance to help them do their day-to-day jobs. In other words, of all the activities that managers could focus on, providing day-to-day solutions for employees is what most drives performance.

Frequent Changes to Projects—A Performance Killer: As shown on the far right side of the graph, managers can also destroy performance. In fact, managers who make frequent changes to their employees’ projects and assignments can reduce performance by up to 22 percent. Worth avoiding right?

It therefore begs the question ‘How Can I Enable My Employees’ High Performance?’ What are the beliefs I need to hold about my people? What are the beliefs I need to hold about how I can enable others’ high performance? What my role in making this happen? What can I do, what should I be saying? How will I show up?

If you want some help to work this through for you or for your people managers do please get in touch.

Adapted from: Corporate Leadership Council (2002) Building the High-Performance Workforce