There are a number of ways to apply a coaching strategy to coaching your team. Some managers choose to focus on their top performers, some choose their bottom, others are more strategic in how they plan their coaching strategy. The coaching strategy we will explore today is known as Quality Performance Opportunity coaching strategy.
The Goal of our Quality Performance Opportunity Coaching Strategy
The goal of the Quality Performance Opportunity coaching strategy is to provide a measurement for the variance in a team's performance. Since the goal of all managers is to have a team of consistently performing and continually improving employees, this metric can be particularly helpful for senior management to measure the effectiveness of their management team and the level of consistent performance improvement that is occurring.
To illustrate the use of the Quality Performance Opportunity coaching strategy, let's use an example. Carolyn is a call center manager with a team of 10 associates making outbound collection calls. For the last few months her team has been struggling to meet the overall department goals and Carolyn has been trying varying techniques trying to change the trend and achieve a performance improvement. She recently attended a class on the Quality Performance Opportunity coaching strategy and has decided to leverage it with her team.
She begins by identifying the metrics that her associates are individually measured on and by making sure that these metrics do in fact drive towards her team and departmental goals. Since these align perfectly, her job is much easier.
What is the Quality Performance Opportunity?
Glad you asked. The Quality Performance Opportunity coaching strategy is a method to measure your performance as a team and to determine the team's consistency and overall effectiveness. This coaching strategy assumes that your goal is constant and consistent performance improvement. To apply the Quality Performance Opportunity coaching strategy you apply the following formula to your team for one of your most representative metrics:
highest performer - lowest performer divided by highest performer
So if we apply this formula to Carolyn's team, her highest performer Nathan, has a dollars collected average of $1,200 and her lowest performer Joanie, has a dollars collected average of $700.
1,200 - 700 / 1,200 = 42% QPO
What does a Quality Performance Opportunity of 42% tell us? It provides us with the range for the team's performance and illustrates the manager's opportunity for a performance improvement for the team. The goal of the Quality Performance Opportunity coaching strategy is to continually see a lower percentage while also hopefully experiencing a rising team average performance or mean. If you are experiencing this, you are seeing a team that is performing consistently and that is continually experiencing a performance improvement month over month.
When Carolyn calculated her Quality Performance Opportunity she was surprised for a number of reasons. Didn't her associates all go to the same training classes and receive the same tools and knowledge? Yes, but why are there such great gaps in their performance? There can be many reasons for the performance gap including skill issues, will issues, and their level of motivation. To really understand the performance spread, Carolyn will need to look at each member of her team individually and assess their opportunities.
The Manager's Role in the Quality Performance Opportunity Coaching Strategy
To leverage the Quality Performance Opportunity coaching strategy successfully with your team, you should communicate it. Let your team know that you will be applying this metric to measure your effectiveness and theirs as well. Why? At the end of the day if your team understands the goal your driving towards, and why its important, they are more likely to help you reach it.
Also, as you are explaining Quality Performance Opportunity it is important to stress the next key step to take as you leverage it, which is individual goal setting. By sitting down with each member of your team, determining what they do well, where they need to make a performance improvement, and what their target goal for the month (quarter, year) should be, you will be able to give them ownership of their performance and the performance of the team.
Before you schedule each individual pull up, it is important to do a little preparation. Since you want to make sure the goals you and your associate set are realistic, attainable, and somewhat of a stretch, you must understand what the associate will need to do to meet their goal. Nothing is worse than a goal that is nothing more than a number. Remember, goals are much easier to hit, if you know what steps to take to get there. You should look at each associate's past trends and the drivers that feed into their metrics to ensure you have a full understanding of their performance and what it will take to see a performance improvement.
If we take the example of Carolyn again, we can illustrate how this might work. Before Carolyn pulls up with Joanie, she looks at her key performance indicators for the past few months. Knowing that the average dollars collected metric is greatly impacted by the volume of calls made, the number of people talked to, and the number who promised to pay, Carolyn reviews these drivers to get a feel for where the biggest performance opportunity lies. It turns out that Joanie makes considerably less calls per day than her peers. When Carolyn and Joanie meet, they discuss setting a realistic goal of a 5% performance improvement over last month and will do so by increasing the number of phone calls. Joanie learns that if she makes just 15 calls more per day she should well exceed her goal. By breaking the goal down into the smallest pieces possible, it becomes more meaningful to your associates as they feel a larger degree of control over their performance improvement. I mean, Joanie may think I can't totally control if someone who says they're going to pay their bill actually does or not, but Joanie will agree that she does control how many phone calls she makes each day.
Once you have set goals with each member of your team, you should take a look at the new team goal. This goal will be based on the average of all of the individual goals you and your associates' set and therefore if all of your individuals meet or exceed their goals, so will the team.
Now that you have the team's new goal, you should widely communicate it. Keep your team focused on their individual goals and the overall team goal. You may find that your higher performers will begin helping some of your lower performers to excel. You'll also want to communicate what your new Quality Performance Opportunity would be if everyone hit their goals. Keeping individual, team, and Quality Performance Opportunity goals in front of your team consistently will ensure they are striving to drive results and will in most cases go a long way towards overall team performance improvement.
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