What is Strengths-based Performance Management?
There are two core elements to any performance process: performance measurement and performance management.
Performance measurement is concerned with how we track, monitor, record and measure the outcomes of performance. The emphasis should always be on outcomes – what the person achieves – rather than inputs, which relate to how they got there.
Performance management is about the conversation that supports the performance. How we set goals, work to achieve those goals, receive feedback and calibrate along the way. Managers have a crucial role to play in effective performance management, since they help (or hinder) us in delivering our best performance.
Strengths-based performance management puts strengths at the heart of this process. When people use their strengths they are more likely to achieve their goals and objectives, as well as gaining a host of other benefits.
The central premise of strengths-based performance management is that using strengths is the best way to achieve outcomes. Hence, the measurement is still always focused on outcomes, but the management will be more focused on harnessing strengths.
As you’d expect, we put this into practice in our own work at Capp, using a balanced scorecard that links individual objectives to our corporate strategy. Each objective has a strength aligned to it, so each member of the team is encouraged to use their strengths as the best way to achieving their objectives.
With strengths linked to objectives in this way, it also becomes easier to highlight where people might need help, so we use the Realise2 4M Model to align strengths and goals across the team, using complementary partnerships and strengths-based team working to achieve more together than would ever be possible on our own.
After all, as the late, great Peter Drucker prophesied in The Effective Executive in 1967, “the unique purpose of organization is to make strength productive…one cannot build on weakness.”
Despite this, many companies thought for many years that measuring performance against generic competencies was the answer to everything. But the times they are a’changin… There is a better way, as strengths-based performance management shows.
What are your performance management experiences?
Share your comments on The Capp Blog and let us know if you get to use your strengths at work, or if your company is stuck in a competency mindset of everyone being good at everything (tip: they’re not, however hard they try).