What is the secret to unlocking great performance? (Series 2)

A company’s success is powered by its employees – how to get the best out of them is the Holy Grail for managers. So how is this done? If performance is based on capability, is it about providing the right training? Is it how you incentivise? Or is it something else? I’ve written a short blog series to explore this further. Have a read to find out if this is something you should be (co-)thinking about.

What underpins our best talent?

Our best workers are those with the highest competency. As they progress in the organisation, new skill-sets are required and need to be developed.  So is improving performance simply a matter of more training?

Unfortunately, this is too simplistic. ‘Skill’ needs to be accompanied by ‘will’ to drive performance.  For real success, an employee must want to strive harder, to deliver at consistently high levels.  Businesses recognising this encourage it via employee engagement strategies: stock options, performance related bonuses and other employee perks.

However even if an individual has the ability and the incentive, if they do not believe they are able to achieve the task then it’s more than likely they won’t. This third dimension of performance is less commonly acknowledged, let alone specifically tackled within the workplace. But by not doing this, companies are missing a real opportunity to improve results.

Organisational Behaviour Psychologist, Alex Stajkovic maintains that for optimal performance, skill, will and confidence are all pre-requisites. Elite athletes routinely work with sports psychologists to drive their self-confidence, where tiny incremental improvements can be the difference between two athletes of similar talent.  Researchers have found that self-confidence is one of the most influential factors in how well an athlete performs in a competition.  As former world number 1 tennis star Stan Smith says: “Experience tells you want to do.  Confidence allows you to do it”

Unfortunately lack confidence is becoming increasingly prevalent. It’s common to many of the clients I work with (both male and female) and I believe to we need to be doing more to address it.

(For more scroll down and click on next post)

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