Managing For Performance – Growth, Profits & Employee Happiness


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You shouldn’t need us to tell you how much you need to focus on managing for the performance of your company.

Management should be one of the top priorities of any growing business, when you focus on performance you tend to ensure that targets and growth is ultimately sustainable and viable for the long term.

In order to really understand how this style of management can be successful, we’ve explained below – there are a lot of things to take it, so get yourself comfortable.

This process has changed over time, before one of the biggest incentives to motivate a team was the idea of offering a cash prize for delivering on promises and targets.

As we have moved into a new era of company cultures the motivational power has also shifted, it’s moved away from the desires of cash bonuses and instead other aspects of motivation such as company shares or career development have taken centre stage.

Believe it or not but one of the biggest motivators is in fact engagement, or acknowledgement – with 69% of people willing to work increasingly harder if the company simply recognized their efforts

Engagement is one of the main reasons a company will potentially see growth, with engaged team members showing 50% more productivity.

A robotic employee with a mundane schedule is going to really struggle to stay engaged; unfortunately this is the style of work ethic that many management teams ultimately promote to their workforces.

This is when you need to take a step back and think about your most hated job you’ve ever had, consider what the problems were and why it was so hated – chances are it was down to:

  • Lack of engagement due to no recognition of work which results in no effort what so ever.
  • Cash bonuses that motivated but ultimately still made you feel ’empty’.
  • Management that didn’t even bother to learn your name.

As a manager you may have issues with handing over tasks and duties to others, the team needs to know they are trusted – once they get this feeling chances are they’ll have the confidence in themselves to create even better work or go the extra mile to ensure everything they do is great.

Responsibility can be used as a reward.


The majority of professionals in the working world all have a burning desire to get better at what they do, human nature makes us curious so when problems arise and we are required to get creative you’ll notice the increase in motivation.

Creative problem solving not only engages the mind it also creates unity and productivity within the team – if human nature seeks creativity then why limit it in the workplace?

Some of the greatest inventions have come from the desire to solve a problem, Silicon Valley tech startups regularly hold Hackathons to create something new and make a competition out of it. The idea is that given a problem or objective our minds are very keen at being creative with problem solving.

Sometimes however the creative thinking process can take its toll with stress levels and productivity, nonetheless give the problem a break and you’ll be eager to get back to it.

One of the aspects of responsibility is that we have to be avid problem solvers; the difference is to ensure both responsibility and problem solving is still a desired reward – people need recognition for efforts and results.


Image Credit worqshop


When you’re part of a large corporate company you’re much more likely to become disillusioned with your sense of purpose. Many teams and employees at times begin to feel like they are just a cog in some massive machine – this ultimately disengages and performance drastically drops.

Once someone feels they have purpose, a reason to be doing what they are doing, performance begins to pick up because the value on their time and efforts have gone up.

Small and medium businesses may not have to suffer with this problem too much but as soon as you see growth and employ more people you’ll start to run the risk.

Assignments and targets (real targets such as increasing leads or revenue) will give the team a reason to become engaged and increase productivity.

The best examples of ‘lacking purpose’ are retail sector staff, more specifically shop floor staff members. Even though they are responsible for talking to customers on a daily basis and ensuring customer service is of the highest standard – they are generally the most unmotivated or engaged.

Consider the problems:

– Generally minimum wage.

– Same tasks are done on a daily basis, generally like clockwork.

– Have to deal with unhappy customers.

However, give one of these staff employees a purpose such as a title change or responsibly and their attitude changes, productivity picks and all because they have a new found purpose.


Image Credit alshepmcr


Essential Techniques

Now you understand that cash incentives are not as well received as simple engagement and recognition it’s time to consider the techniques needed to achieve the best management for performance.

One on One

You’ll find that a lot of the team will want to speak with the manager or company owner, they may have ideas or queries that they would love to ask directly to the manager.

Simply creating a regular meeting with the owner or manager can increase engagement incredibly; the employee can get direct feedback and praise from the person of ‘power’ which is far better than a letter of recognition which carries less prestige behind it.


Simply high fiving, fist bumping and hand shaking can increase the level of engagement, the psychological change and effects of this level of interaction increases productivity.


As much as we like to get creative with solutions that solve headaches, employees may become disengaged when the task in hand becomes too much. It’s important to pay attention to the employee as some like the challenge and thrive in these situations however others won’t handle the stress well, ultimately resulting in a disengaged employee.

Collaboration is a great team builder as it evokes the team mentality; a sales team needs to be a team so ensure you create a sense of unity – sales professionals like to work by themselves so encouraging this style of work should limit the amount of secrecy internally.


We have power words and other gimmicky named word categories for all areas of the sales cycle. These tend to focus on sales qualification and closing; when it comes to the use of words by management to the team, well let’s just say they are certainly overlooked.

Management for performance is about creating a team that can and will achieve growth for the business; words are a powerful tool to use during mundane tasks, long deadlines or generally as mood up lifters.

You do need to understand your employee to make this even more effective however as certain individuals like to be left alone, generally requiring little recognition throughout the projects. But others need a constant stream of positive and motivational words in order to keep them engaged and focused.

Sidenote: Understanding your team fully is without doubt one of the most important aspects of management for performance.

Gift Giving

Like we’ve mentioned it a few times the general cash incentives lack the motivational power it once used to have. You’ll find that instead of throwing money at the individual you’ll see better effects in the long term if you buy a gift that was actually wanted.

Making the gift giving process personal makes the connection needed to increase engagement, if you haven’t noticed already engagement is vital to managing of performance.

Building Relationships

Managing for performance means you need to go one step further, you need to begin a relationship with your team. Many managers lack this skill set, either they are ego driven or they don’t feel the need for it regardless it’s vital for optimising the team’s performance.

A lot of the tips mentioned in the previous paragraphs won’t deliver the same results or have the same effect if you don’t actually understand or know your team.


– Hobbies

– Likes/dislikes

– Family

– Favourite teams

– Wishlist

– Common likes

The results are two fold – you become accessible to the team, who are then able to communicate with you as a team member rather than someone who is ‘untouchable’; it also gives you an idea of how you can reward with gifts once you’ve got an idea of their background.


Developing the Team

Few managers take the time to really understand what it is that the team or individual wants, the reality of it is – people want to progress in their careers and they want training.

When 48% of people are no longer confident that they will in fact progress their careers or knowledge with their current company is time to consider the true benefits of training.

Sometimes you can pinpoint the team members that are going to progress, those are the people that should have the most amount of capital put up to help them with that progression. This group of employees are the ones who’ll prefer training and progression ahead of cash incentives.

With training you create a whole bunch of new benefits for both you and the team:

– Improves morale

– Fewer accidents

– Can limit need for supervision

– Chances of promotion

– Improved productivity

Think about a sport or hobby you have, you enjoy it and you become more and more enthusiastic about it the more you learn and progress. The feeling of progression promotes the feeling of ‘I’m going places’ – this is something you need to understand as management for performance a few years ago focused mostly on cash.

Development works well together with problem solving and both of these show clear evidence that employees begin to increase productivity and go the extra mile in order to create new achievements.

Make everyone realise their potential.

Team Leadership

Are you the leader? Or is someone else within the team? Make sure that the leader of the pack is out in the open, confusion causes a lack of confidence – it also wastes time when people are trying to find the wrong leader.

Within the team everyone should be a leader, not the leader of the group but a leader in their expertise or knowledge set. This is a sign of responsibility, a position of power that can and will directly affect how the team performs on the given task.

If this leader is one that appreciates and enjoys this ‘power’ you’ll instantly see improved enthusiasm and creative thinking. As they are now the expert they put extra pressure onto themselves to perform, achieve and ultimately impress everyone else – in moderate quantities this is a great thing to see.


Image Credit The Library of Congress


Building High Performance Teams – Channel Sales

Once you’ve got an understanding of how you should be managing for performance with your sales teams you’ll need to explore the potential for creating channel sales teams – this is another (essential) avenue of growth for you company.

Developing a channel sales team with a management focus on performance is going to be different in a sense compared to an internal team. The general consensus mentioned in the paragraphs before all stand true and effective with a channel sales team, the difference is with the distance with a channel sales team.

Where the team is generally located somewhere else you’ll struggle to find the same amount of details about each individual on the team e.g. likes, dislikes, hobbies etc.

However a channel sales team is of high importance to you still. In order to get this message across the management & leadership teams need to be well trained.

They need to experience what you have set up at your own location, see how the team works and reacts and ultimately adapt the same train of thought of the channel sales team.

Each individual employee at with the channel team can be brought onto a training course but getting that extra bit of personal recognition is now going to grow more difficult.

This is why you need to align, early in the channel team building process, with the management how they employees are going to be trained, rewarded and emphasis placed onto adapting and learning about each employee.

channel sales

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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