Sometimes leaders are disappointed with the performance of a direct report who was expected to be a superstar but didn’t pan out that way. Sometimes a mediocre hire can slip through the cracks when shooting for a great hire; but other times the reason for a new hire not reaching their potential is best found looking in the mirror. Even the hires with the greatest capabilities need some quality time with their leader to reach their full promise.
If leaders have an expensive hard asset like a large copier or other piece of equipment, they’re likely to invest in on-going maintenance to avoid unforeseen mishaps or negative surprises; interestingly enough, they’re willing to make these investments despite the fact that those assets will only depreciate over time. When you think about a human asset that should appreciate over time, why wouldn’t leaders invest in similar performance maintenance to ensure the highest level of performance?
When it comes to accelerating the performance of direct reports, leaders should invest in weekly one-on-one time, provide on-going and timely course corrections and positive feedback, deliver quarterly performance reviews, discuss goal alignment, and encourage personal development. Leaders who have fallen out of the habit of those activities should start them back up. If they’ve never tried them, they should try it for a month and watch the investment grow.
Leaders who empower their direct reports by investing some quality time with them then watch the ROI grow on their original hiring investment.