6 Ways Your High Performance Management Plan is Falling Short

We all know that having a team of high performing individuals is great but it’s not always enough for a company to reach its fullest potential. That’s why active management and guidance are so important.

Managing high performance can be quite a challenge; there are so many different factors to consider, from setting clear goals to providing regular feedback and coaching. It’s important to make sure everyone on the team is working on tasks that align with their skills and experience and that delegation is handled effectively. 

But even with the best plans and intentions, sometimes things don’t quite go as expected. It’s important for leaders to be open to adjusting their strategies and making changes as needed to ensure success. At the end of the day, it’s all about working together as a team and striving for continuous improvement.

High performance management is all about maximizing productivity, efficiency and overall team performance, but it can be tricky to navigate. To really make it work, leaders need to understand what it entails, where it can fall short and why many plans often fail. 

What Exactly is “High Performance Management”?

What is high performance management, and how does it differ from other management techniques? High performance management is a system of practices and strategies leaders use to drive productivity, efficiency and overall team performance. The goal of it is to create a motivated and optimized high performing team that consistently and predictably achieves outstanding results. 

There are a few hallmark elements of high performance management, including:

  • Emphasis on high-impact results: When leaders execute high performance team management, teams should have a shared understanding of their organization’s mission, vision and goals. Results should be consistent and validated, and leaders should be able to measure where their team stands and where improvement is needed.  
  • Well-understood team strengths: High performance management is not a one-size-fits-all approach; instead, it recognizes that teams have unique compositions regarding their strengths. Similarly, the inverse is true, and leaders understand how their team can overcome challenges and improve. 
  • Open communication style: These team members understand their own and one another’s behaviors and personality types, along with their personal priorities and preferences, and can easily navigate both communications and conflicts. 
  • Ability to make focused transformations: Teams under high performance management styles can quickly identify areas that need attention. They are nimble and agile and can swiftly adjust to trends and changing needs without being thrown off-course. 
  • Timely, more powerful results: By utilizing high performance team management practices, leaders can achieve greater results in shorter timeframes compared to other management techniques. This is because leaders obtain clear insights into their team’s performance and use this information to assess their team’s strengths and weaknesses and provide them with the necessary support.  

Why Should Leadership Pay Attention to This Concept?

There are a few reasons why leaders should be interested in deploying high performance management techniques in their spaces.

Firstly, high performance management techniques can often be more effective than other types of management techniques. This is because they’re results-driven and data-backed, and there is an emphasis on using precise team insights to make decisions. 

We also know that typical management concepts can often fall flat: data shows us that 86% of leaders say most of their workplace failures are due to a lack of collaboration. If a leadership concept is effective, collaboration should be seamless and consistent. 

Second, high performance management can enhance organizational performance and give teams a competitive advantage. This is because this management style is typically focused on optimizing a team’s performance, continuously improving it and future-proofing it. These teams can then achieve top results consistently, potentially giving them a competitive edge in their space.

High performance team management can also improve several key business outcomes. For example, research shows teams with higher levels of engagement can experience 41% less absenteeism, 24% less employee turnover, 17% higher productivity and 21% higher profitability. 

Ultimately, this can be a powerful team management style that can help leaders achieve targeted, consistent results. But for these results to be achieved, a high performance management plan needs to be approached effectively (and actually work).

Why Does a High Performance Management Plan Miss the Mark?

If high performance management is so promising, why aren’t more teams consistently successful at deploying it? The truth is that even the best-laid plans for high performance management can miss the mark and fail to deliver the intended results. Here are some of the most common reasons why this is.

They’re Not Data-Driven

High performance management plans must be rooted in data, so leaders can take a holistic, accurate approach to achieve targeted results. This can start with team-centered assessments, for example, which give leaders benchmarks for where their team actually is. Then, leaders can identify where they stand on impact and engagement.

Instead of taking a haphazard or randomized approach, leaders can first collect valuable data by assessing and benchmarking the team’s current performance. 

They Don’t Focus on Resilience

In order to build resilient teams, a high performance management plan must prioritize practices and philosophies that help team members anticipate and adapt to changes. This might include fostering a culture of open communication, encouraging ongoing learning and development and investing in tools and technology that can help teams stay agile and responsive. By focusing on resilience, leaders can help ensure that their teams are not only able to weather unexpected challenges but also thrive in the face of change and uncertainty.

Team (and Even Leadership) Behaviors Are Ignored

Teams have unique behaviors and compositions that impact their growth opportunities. Leaders need to consider these factors to bridge the “reality gap” between their own ratings and those of their teams. By understanding the behaviors driving a team, leaders can take steps to reduce friction within and across departments. This helps to create a more cohesive and productive team.

They Don’t Include an Actionable Roadmap or Objectives

A high performance management plan is more likely to succeed when it includes two key components: a clear roadmap and specific objectives. Leaders who have a deep understanding of their team’s performance can use data-driven insights to guide their decision-making. However, in order to create an effective roadmap, leaders must first understand their team’s current state and have access to resources that can help improve team performance (which we’ll touch on in the next point). 

When it comes to objectives, they should be clearly defined goals that outline where the team is headed. These goals may include improving the team’s performance compared to themselves or their peers in the industry.

They Lack the Proper Support Resources

Without the right tools, training and guidance, it can be difficult for teams to meet their goals and achieve success. This can lead to frustration, burnout and ultimately, a lack of motivation to continue working towards the desired outcome. 

It’s important for organizations to provide their teams with the support they need to succeed, whether that’s through additional training, resources (which can be created internally but often come from change management tools) or support from management. By investing in their teams, organizations can help them overcome challenges and achieve their goals, even when faced with setbacks. 

The Team Is Resistant to Change (and Buy-In Is Lacking)

High performance management plans typically require a team to change in some way (often in many ways). Both decision-makers and employees need to not only be prepared for this change and be willing to embrace it head-on: but they also need to have the resources and support they need to successfully implement it. 

Effective change management often goes hand-in-hand with employee buy-in for initiatives. When leaders are properly managing change, they will go the extra mile to ensure their employees are more engaged with the high performance management initiatives. And data shows us that team engagement isn’t just good for outcomes: it can be good for the business’s bottom line, with disengagement costing US businesses up to $550 billion in lost productivity every year. 

Key Elements of High Performance Management

For leaders, high performance management has a few clear hallmarks. Here are some of the key elements of this type of team management.

It’s Rooted in Data

From objectives and goals to team behaviors and communication styles, high performance team management leans on data to achieve notable results. This data typically comes in the form of team assessment surveys.

It’s Collaborative

High performance management isn’t just a top-down initiative where everyone is along for the ride. It requires participation and buy-in from all team members and collaborative engagement. While leaders drive the initiative and goals, team members will participate in improvement efforts and activities to align, learn and grow.

Blind Spots Are Addressed

So-called “blind spots” can be challenging to identify and address because, in their nature, they’re difficult to spot. But high performance management plans take these gaps into account and have steps that give leaders a more accurate view of their own team. 

Team Dynamics Play a Central Role

As you might have guessed by now, high performance team management is anything but haphazard and randomized. Instead, team dynamics and behaviors play a significant, central role, and leaders use this knowledge to deploy specific, results-driven plans. 

Is Your High Performance Management Plan Effective?

If you’re a leader interested in high performance team management, it probably means you’re serious about taking your team’s performance to the next level. It also probably means you don’t want to mess around. You want your team management initiatives to actually deliver. 

If you’re looking for a high performance management plan (that’s actually effective) then we’re here to help. RallyBright is a platform that gives your organization the science, software and skills to build exceptional teams that crush their goals. It’s designed and built for next-generation teamwork and is backed by proven team effectiveness models. 

We know so much about high performance management plans because it’s our specialty. Let us show you what we mean, and try a RallyBright demo today