Leaders and employees are under tremendous pressure to perform, yet most organizations struggle with performance management. This means we may not even begin to think about driving performance of our high and solid performing colleagues because we spend all our time “managing” low performers.

Research from Straight A Leadership Assessment shows that 52 percent of people who are not meeting performance expectations are aware of it. This means the remaining 48 percent are not only not aware of it, but they do not have a corrective action plan to improve performance

Where to begin? First, diagnose; determine which category members of your team fall into: low, solid, or high performers. In a video on driving performance, Quint Studer says that we often move into the second phase (treatment) too quickly without first effectively diagnosing individuals’ levels of performance. What’s the importance of first diagnosing? In Maximize Performance, authors Quint Studer and Janet Pilcher say:

For the most part, we’ve found there are some proven ways to deal with each type of performer to move the organization to the next level. And deal with them we must, because less than optimal performance can have a devastating effect.

One important lesson is that moving low performers up or out of an organization heavily influences whether it can move from bad to good, good to great, or sustain greatness. It’s a message also delivered by Jim Collins in Good to Great when he stresses getting the right people on the bus, and in the right seat, and the wrong ones off! The same holds true for school systems seeking to improve performance. Begin today. Diagnose.

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