The Key to Performance Management Success – Think Small!

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In my previous blog Success and Happiness at Work, the role of the manager in helping employees achieve their goals (that is, be successful) and enjoy the journey (be happy) is great. So, how can managers build ‘happiness’ within their high achievers and build engagement capital with everyone in the organization?

The key is simple… think SMALL! Or is that, THINK small?

On the surface, we get it. Setting goals ahead of time is absolutely necessary for success. So why do our employees and teams resist setting them in the first place? Could it be because they’ve experienced failure in the past and don’t want to repeat those mistakes?

Failing to achieve a goal we value can be painful. We take ownership of the goals we set; it becomes part of “who we are” in our team. We have incorporated them into our sense of self and when we fail to achieve them, it feels like a blow to our actual identity.

Managers need to jump in and help the team get past the fear of failure and build confidence in succeeding. How? THINK small! When you break down larger goals into smaller ones, they become more manageable. Employees start thinking of the smaller sub-goals unto themselves — not just stepping stones to a larger achievement down the road. Achieving these smaller goals gives a taste of success and you start to believe that you can achieve any goal you set. Employees start to enjoy the journey!

TIP: When you really, really want to achieve your goal, write it down! Science suggests that writing down your goals will trigger that sense of ownership and make the goal more tangible. This will also keep you accountable to yourself!