Yesterday I attended the latest session of the ILM3 Leadership and Management course I am enrolled on and have spoken about before. This week the theme was ‘Planning & monitoring work and performance management’ and as ever it was really useful in helping me to think about my own workload and the workload of other members of the team here at the Retail Office.
Throughout my school years the importance of planning work was drilled into us, and I have to admit it is something I did somewhat reluctantly, seeing it as an additional task to an already substantial workload. It was only once at university that I truly appreciated the value and importance of planning my work. As a history student I can honestly say that I would often spend more time in the planning stages of an essay than the actual writing process. A good plan was essential to success in achieving the outcome I was aiming for. This is one skill that I have transferred directly to my role as intern and something which was discussed in today’s session. It also ties into the idea of SMARTIES targets I talked about a few weeks ago. Planning your workload is an essential part of achieving the goals you have set yourself.
In the session we also discussed performance management. Although there was more focus on managing the performance of others I do think that the advice given is equally as effective for monitoring our own personal performance and identifying areas and means of improvement.
There are times in our academic/professional/personal lives when we are aware that we are not performing as well as we ought to or would like to. Often it is difficult to break this chain of under-performance simply because we don’t know what to do to perform better. In the session we were introduced to the P.E.R.F.O.R.M. technique which can help us to diagnose the cause of poor performance and therefore identify means of improvement.
P- Purpose: what is the purpose of the job/task in you are tackling? This can help us to remember exactly what it is we are trying to achieve and why. This is particularly useful for ongoing tasks as it is easy to forget why we even started what we are doing!
E- Environment: are there any physical or social factors that are affecting our performance? Perhaps the relationship we have with a particular person is preventing us from fulfilling our potential? If so how can we go about improving or altering this relationship to improve our performance?
R- Resources: do we need more/better resources to improve our performance… obviously we can’t have everything we want but this could even be something like a good diary or organiser!
F- Feedback: positive and constructive feedback from friends, colleagues and family members can be the key to establishing areas for improvement that we can’t see ourselves.
O- Organisation: poor organisation is so often a major cause of poor performance- since starting at the Retail Office I have learnt to become more organised, including prioritising workload to achieve the best possible results
R- Review: reviewing our skills and workload regularly again allows us to get the most out of our strengths and realise where we are not doing so well.
M- Motivation: we all go through times in our lives when we lack motivation, whether this is because we have had a bad experience or we are feeling uninspired by the task in hand etc etc. A lack of motivation can seriously affect our performance. Whatever happens try to maintain a high level of motivation to boost performance and gain better results.
So, there we have it, the PERFORM method for diagnosing the cause of poor performance. I challenge you to identify one aspect of your life where you know you are not performing as well as you would like to, identify the cause using the above model and take it from there. Identifying the cause of a problem is often the greatest challenge, after this stage you can start taking positive actions to boost your performance and achieve your goals.
Pretty buttercups spotted on the way to the course- so bright and cheerful in the afternoon sunshine.