Performance Management: DIY Style

Posted by Julie • August 30, 2016 (Last modified July 29, 2018) • 4 min read

Often we discuss the ways you, as a manager, can help build performance management strategies for your team; we like to cover the little techniques that make a good strategy become a solid one. As a leader, you spend your days developing future leaders, but how often do you apply that knowledge to your own development? Don’t let personal career progression fall by the wayside. Take control of your own performance management aspirations by practicing these do-it-yourself techniques…


Set Some Goals

These tips are going to sound pretty familiar, but the truth is accountability will be the only thing to help you achieve progress in your own development. To help build accountability in your employees, you set goals and create deadlines. Follow the same process for yourself.

If S.M.A.R.T. goals keep you motivated, then go through the motions. Is your work not so easily translated to tactical goals? Setting behavioral-based goals just requires a different way of looking at progress, but are still able to be applied. The point is, find out what works for you and apply it as needed. The key to performance management is consistency.


Create Mile Markers, Not Finish Lines

Similar to building up endurance in running, you have to start somewhere and sometimes it seems like you are farther than ever from the end result you’re looking for. Counter that by setting progress goals. That way, you aren’t looking at the end before you’ve even begun. Finish lines are inspirational, but it’s the daily grind of progress that keeps your eye on the prize.

For example, if you have a numerical-based sales goal, break the total number down into weekly or monthly increments. The goal will look far more digestible. If you have a behavioral-based goal, develop a few steps you think will help obtain the end result. For instance, attend a leadership conference by the first quarter or send a weekly appreciation email to an employee. Focus on the little things and you will be surprised how much closer to that goal you actually are.


Did you know? Managers are the key to successful performance management.

Be Accountable

As mentioned above, when it comes to a do-it-yourself performance management strategy, accountability is key. All of the above tips will mean nothing if you have no drive to create and finish the process. Often, we meet goals when we have someone pushing us to succeed. When you were young, it was a parent, guardian or teacher. As an adult, you might have a boss. When it comes to being your own leader, you have to want to see the change. At the end of the day, remember who is in control, who will benefit from the dedication and what those who are involved stand to gain.

Often, leaders have more success when they align their hopes and aspirations to their company’s goals. It’s not releasing the accountability to someone else, but it is raising the stakes when you bring others in. Another technique is to involve your calendar. It might sound strange, but setting physical reminders that will greet you at the beginning and end of the week might be the only push you need to cross one more to do off your list.


It’s okay to ask for feedback. Read how not to fear the peer review.

Show Appreciation

Everyone deserves a pat on the back after a job well done. When you set your own performance goals, there isn’t someone waiting on the other side of that completed task excited for the progress, so you have to light your own fire. A little treat hanging at the end of the arduous process can make for amazing incentive to not only meet this goal, but to set more after its completion.

Do-it-yourself performance management can be the most difficult, yet rewarding way to better your skills. As a leader, you’ve perfected the art of inspiring employees to greatness, now give yourself a little taste of the glory.
If you know what you need to do but still can’t stay on track, don’t give up. Look into joining your performance management system just like your team. Don’t have a performance management tool that works for you? Drop us a line and we’ll show you one that rocks!


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