Friday, March 28, 2008


"Knowledge is just rumor until it is in the muscle." - New Guinea Proverb
Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Performance Matters - Idea #7

Hold employees accountable for performance standards.

Define standards, establish a tracking system, provide a mechanism to measure staff performance daily , and provide staff with comparative feedback on how they are performing relative to standard and each other.

If performance is below standard it should be the employee’s responsibility to bring the matter and recommended solution to the manager/owner – it should not be the manager’s responsibility to police professionals or carry a stick.

Lacking the necessary performance tools that empower employees, the responsibility and burden rests with managers and owners. Performance begins with a process. How is your process and performance?


(c) copyright 2008
Performance Builders
Thursday, March 20, 2008


"In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind, there are few." -Suzuki Roshi
Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Performance Matters - Idea #6

Continuing education is considered to be just a benefit in most Practices. The result is predictable - employees use "the benefit" to pursue their interests rather than the interests and needs of the Practice.

Continuing Education is a powerful tool for Practice growth and competitive advantage. It's too valuable to leave to the discretion of employees. It should be recognized as the powerful strategic tool it is and managed accordingly.

A professional development plan should be a part of every performance review. It should lay-out a multi year strategy for developing staff competencies and individual strengths for the strategic benefit of both the Practice and the employee. It should go a step further by creating expectations and obligations for employees returning from continuing education events to share what they have learned with the rest of the team - the student becomes the teacher. The result is a win/win/win outcome.

Training that does not translate into enhanced Practice service, growth, and revenue is frankly wasted. Leverage continuing education by making strategic investments in your people and harnessing its strategic potential in your Practice.

Focus less on performance appraisals than on professional development plans. Keep development aimed at increasing value as a team player and Practice contribution rather than on personal interests/agendas. Put professional development plans in writing and let the professional own the responsibility for attainment within timelines and budgets.


(c) copyright 2008
Performance Builders

In doing
Thursday, March 13, 2008

Performance Matters - Idea #5

In most Practices matters related to an employee's annual performance review and compensation review occur at the same time. When that happens matters of performance and professional development are too often overshadowed by employee considerations "what is my raise"?

This raises two concerns for employers.

First as reimbursement continues to erode (it has and it will) and labor shortages drive up compensation expectations it will become harder and harder to justify "the traditional annual increase".

Second the importance of personal performance and strategic professional development (more on that next time) will become ever more important for the Practice to maintain a strategic advantage in the market and for the the professional to maintain job security.

Matters of compensation invariably carry with it an emotional overtone whenever employee expectations are not fully met. When that happens matters of performance rarely receive the consideration they merit. The result is that both parties lose.

Disconnect the link between annual compensation reviews and performance evaluations / professional development planning. Do so by scheduling compensation reviews to coincide with the beginning of the Practice's fiscal year and performance reviews / professional development planning with the employee's anniversary date of employment. In some situations an alternative schedule may need to be used when those dates occur close to each other.

Favorable employee performance and contribution do not necessarily translate into a practice's ability to increase compensation – this reality will become more pronounced in the years ahead.

Linking these matters often contribute to false expectations and resulting problems. Create some time between those discussions to assure that each topic gets its just consideration.


(c) Copyright 2008
Performance Builders
Tuesday, March 11, 2008


""Well done is better than well said." - Ben Franklin

"After all is said and done there's a lot more said than done." - Anonymous
Sunday, March 9, 2008

Performance Matters - Idea #4

Protect the viability of your Practice and the job security of loyal staff through the use of appropriate employment agreements.

Have professional staff sign confidentiality, no-compete, and non-solicitation agreements, and annual conflict of interest / full disclosure statements to minimize the potential they will jeopardize the viability of the Practice or the job security of other team members by leaving the Practice and taking key referral relationships and staff with them.

While every professional has the right to pursue their own careers and opportunities it only makes good business sense to prevent them from doing so at the expense of the Practice and its loyal staff.

The Practice is a business - its important to run it as such by implementing appropriate legal controls.


(c) copyright 2008
Performance Builders
Thursday, March 6, 2008

Performance Matters - Idea #3

As a business owner or manager remember that clients come second!

What did I just say? Heresy you say? Are you thinking that clients should come first?

In the book The Customer Comes Second by Hal Rosenbluth, the author offers an important insight - it is the responsibility of management and owners to model out to employees the behaviors they expect employees to demonstrate in serving customers.

Employees are on the front line of customer service. Management is one step back. One can not expect employees to treat customers differently than they themselves have been treated by management. Employees learn by observation and experience. What kind of experience are you creating for employees? Does it align with the kind of experience you expect your employees to provide for your clients? Do you walk your own talk? Are employees getting a mixed message?

Demonstrate your values through your behavior and actions. Remember that you are always teaching whether you intend to or not.


(c) Copyright 2008
Performance Builders
Sunday, March 2, 2008


"In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind, there are few."
- Suzuki Roshi
Saturday, March 1, 2008

Performance Matters - Idea #2

Be sure that every team member understands that service is not about them.

Service is about those people who the Practice is privileged to have the opportunity to serve.

Consider posting a message of this in staff areas as a daily reminder.

One Practice I know painted, "Service - it's not about me." on the office wall over the staff's workstations. Staff could see it but clients could not. It served as a constant reminder of every team members constant priorities.


(c) Copyright 2008
Performance Builders