On Being a Higher Performer

This one is straight from James Clear‘s email I received last week.

When doing performance reviews (let’s accept for a minute they are a good thing and well executed), staff often ask how they can achieve higher than the average (aka, doing the job).

I have come across a few managers who aren’t prepared to have this conversation. My conclusion is managers are afraid staff will seek ways to achieve what they have said and will be forced to give higher ratings. That’s just … weird!

I think James sums up the higher scales nicely: (italics are my comments):

The 3 Levels of Employees:

Level 1 — You do what you are asked to do. (This is “doing your job.”)

Level 2 — Level 1 + You think ahead and solve problems before they happen. (I don’t think this applies to the immediate job. That would be considered continuous improvement or identifying something that needs to be fixed to do the job properly.)

Level 3 — Level 2 + You proactively look for areas of opportunity and growth in the business, and figure out how to tap into them. (This is organisational or department-wide. Maybe seeing a significant risk to the business and developing a solution.)

If a company is going to have rating scales, companies (i.e. managers) need to be able to have a conversation about the scales and how to achieve them.

Note 1: For the record, if you do conduct Performance Reviews, they really should be just regular conversations summarising what both parties already know.

Note 2: I am trying to improve my writing and was taught (eons ago) that if you have the word “that” near the beginning of a sentence, you can actually delete everything up to and including the “that” and the sentence will still make perfect sense, and likely be more clear.

Here is paragraph 3 (above) in it’s original state:

What really mystifies me is that I have come across few managers who are even prepared to have this conversation. My conclusion is they are afraid staff will then go seeking to achieve exactly what they have said and then they will be forced to give higher ratings.

The Beginning

June 3, 2018 – Albany, Western Australia. Elleker Half Marathon.

fit athlete during training on running track
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

I wasn’t ready for this. I hadn’t really prepared at all. And you just don’t decide to run a half marathon! But I’d paid my fee and it gave me an excuse to see my 90 year old dad.

We arrived late. I didn’t have a great warm up. We headed off for the 21.1km. But even without proper preparation it was a good run on a beautiful winter’s day. No personal best but also nothing that indicated what was about to come.

In other news…

My wife, who never runs, came second in her event, winning fifty dollars! 🙄

It’s only heartburn!

I’d never taken Gaviscon before. Tastes okay.

With the recent chest pain, I ducked into the chemist to get some medication. The Pharmacist did ask some questions about the symptoms and suggested a call to my doctor. I waved it away as bad things don’t happen to me. I run, eat reasonably well. It’ll be fine!

I’d started to feel some chest pain during my training. First there was the early high heart rate. Now the chest pain. You’d think I’d put two and two together. Nope! Probably just heartburn.

To be fair, the pain subsided and I did finish off my run really well. I didn’t mention it to the other half.

I rarely make notes in Garmin Connect but I made one on that day: “Had to double up today cos I missed Friday. Onwards! :)”

I thought no more of it. It’s now June 23.