2019 is well underway, quarterly reviews are fast approaching, and early performance will be assessed against tracking towards end of year goals. As a business development leader, what should you be evaluating and is the team staying on track? How should primary challenges be addressed within the organization when pushing towards a 2019 stretch goal?
Here are four things to think about when assessing Q1 performance and overall team effectiveness:
No evaluation of organizational effectiveness is complete without analyzing performance metrics. Identify macro indicators before delving into individual performances. Primarily, leaders must obtain a holistic understanding of Q1 trends and how they track against 2019 forecasting. Target general areas of concerns such as the percentage of the team hitting quota, average deal size, conversion/ win rate, total/ weighted pipeline and ultimately revenue. This approach will provide greater efficiency for more in-depth employee evaluations. Poor Q1 performance shouldn’t act as a trigger for a drastic change but rather provide a prognosis from which training and support networks are developed for the coming year.
When sharing performance feedback, provide clear, accurately adjusted evaluations against the yearly forecast and actionable items that relate to attainable targets. The goal should be to create a growth driven team that is willing to push towards the end of year goals.
Training and Knowledge Retention
Organizations often fail to maintain regular training once initial onboarding has been completed, switching their attention towards building pipeline and execution. Business development leaders must keep a regular training schedule; this can be for an hour once a week or 15 minutes every couple of days providing actionable instruction and capitalizing on significant learning opportunities as they arise.
Employee retention of new information is equally important. Frequently leaders will conduct training, perform a quick analysis during the conclusion and then move on. An organization may often miss critical opportunities to evaluate a team’s collective knowledge by failing to execute continuous assessments. Leaders can inherit many “low-lift” strategies used by educators within the classroom that can help provide valuable insight into a team’s understanding of a topic. Try not accepting “yes/no” answers, and instead search for training use and knowledge depth. Utilize scrums to reengage employees during the workday and increase opportunities for peer to peer training and evaluation.
Team Culture and Visible Support
Team culture is naturally vital to early success. Most business development teams experience an uptick in urgency and effort when introducing new hires. This initial high can often be hard to maintain. It is essential that business leaders have strategic methods for monitoring morale, provide a platform for clear communication and show that leadership support is readily available. Assessment of culture can become a contentious issue when performing individual reviews. However, determining a team’s attitude through their answers, engagements and follow up questions can be a useful indicator of potential tends.
Assessing culture becomes more critical when experiencing a slow first quarter. Maintaining a vibrant, inclusive and motivating environment becomes increasingly important. Leaders must focus on clear goals and feedback, enable collaborative communication and eliminate motivation killers. If the team is behind a goal, it is vital that leadership confront frustrations early, don’t disrupt schedules, and highlight positive work within the group. A consistent manager to employee one-to-one schedule can be a key enabler here.
Third Party Feedback – A Comprehensive Approach
It is common for managers to look inward when assessing their Q1 team performance. However, valuable insight can be gained from utilizing third-party feedback. When evaluating the development of a new team, managers should factor in all possible data.
If an organization has used outside workplace solutions, hiring managers should be open to incorporating their input into final evaluations. For example, if a new employee is underperforming, it may be beneficial to look back on an assessment conducted during the interview, as the feedback could uncover particular traits that may require a personalized training path or provide an understanding of how there may be a culture mismatch to address. Ultimately collecting third-party feedback can assist in delivering quality unbiased insight into team dynamics and provide greater understanding of individuals within the team. Other third-party feedback includes vendor or customer insights as well as peer 360’s.