August 2013 Newsletter

Written by Michelle Mook on . Posted in Sunflower Diaries

What a fantastic summer! It’s been great to watch our sunflowers grow, and to watch the amazing businesses we work with grow as well.

I wonder, for those of you who received a sunflower seed from us…how well did yours perform? Remember there’s a prize for the tallest, although photographic evidence will be required!

As well as growing sunflowers, we’ve been busy helping some of our clients with various performance issues. So much so, we decided to focus this edition on this important subject.

A focus on performance

sunflower_field_in distance

One of the most common issues we come across is managers alerting us to an individual’s underperformance, for example targets not being hit, or behaviours not in tune with the company’s values. So if you are reading this thinking ‘that’s us’, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

In any business, but probably more so in SMEs, the impact of underperformance can be a substantial one on your bottom line.

So often in these cases, we find that performance standards have not been clear from the outset; honest conversations haven’t happened and performance measurement has been patchy. A lot admit to pretending it’s not happening, thinking it will go away … and it doesn’t.

There are some steps you can take to ensure performance is managed in a way which will help your business flourish and grow:

  • Start by creating a shared inspiring vision that motivates your teams.
  • Next, give individuals focus and direction through agreed goals which are aligned to the needs of the business and the vision.
  • Then evaluate people’s performance against those goals.
  • Give honest feedback regularly so people know what they’re doing well and what needs to improve.
  • Finally, link performance and reward … and this doesn’t necessarily mean money. In many cases, non-monetary rewards are even greater motivators of performance.

Research by the CLC has identified factors which have the potential to increase employee performance by 25 % or more. These included:

  • Fair and accurate informal feedback
  • Understanding of performance standards
  • Manager’s being knowledgeable about performance
  • Feedback that helps employees do their jobs better
  • Emphasis on performance strengths
  • Opportunity to work on the things you do best.

Consider your businesses approach to performance management

Does your approach cover the above points?

What more could you do?

What’s making us smile?

What's making us smile?

We love the opportunity to work outdoors and truly believe it is the best way to learn and build relationships.

We were so pleased to come across Netwalking who work on that basis and we enjoyed a 3 hour walk around lovely Hawnby and enjoyed some gorgeous views from the top of Hawnby Hill.

We also met some fantastic people, had some really interesting discussions and ended with a lovely pub lunch – what a day!

Thank you Mark Reid for an amazing day.

Find out more about netwalking here.

A focus on strengths

Discover Your Strengths

So important, yet so often overshadowed by underperformance! Take the time to understand individual’s strengths and enable people to play to them. This focus can make the shift from good performance to great performance.

Imagine what you can achieve with a team playing to strengths, focussing on doing the right thing…

Do you know the strengths of individuals in your team?

What are your own strengths?

Need support?

We can help you with all aspects of performance management from helping you set an inspiring vision, enabling you to have honest conversations and working with you to identify strengths. We can offer bespoke solutions that are right for you and your business.

“Each one of us can make a difference. Together we make change.”
Barbara Mikulski

FREE Workshop


We have a free event coming up which you might be interested in:

Importance of Engagement to your business success

In partnership with York Science Park
Tuesday 24th September 12 – 2pm
(the event includes refreshment and a light lunch)

Identify practical ways in which you can improve your employee engagement and support the continued success and growth of your business.

Click here for more details and to book.

Management Development

We are really excited to announce that we will be launching our new Management Development programme in February 2014.

This Six month Programme will take you on an inspiring journey with a difference and one that you will never forget. You will learn about yourself, discovering how you can remain authentic but still bring out the very best in your teams and colleagues. You will be supported throughout the journey by your Programme Leader and will form long-lasting bonds with other people on the programme. Over the six months, you will also have the support of 1:1 coaching to enable you to grow and develop as an individual and manager.

Interested or know someone who might be?

Drop us an email and we will send you further details.