4 Reasons Leaders Don’t Notice Good Performance

What goes unnoticed gradually loses value.

What gets noticed improves.

4 reasons leaders don’t notice good performance:

  1. Ignorance. Upper-level leaders don’t know what front-line employees and middle-managers are doing.
  2. Personality. You don’t need people to notice your good work; why should you notice theirs?
  3. Schedule. You’re too busy to dedicate 15 minutes a day for a noticing walk-about.
  4. Discomfort. You’ve been a heads-down leader. Noticing good work feels awkward.

4 Ways to Notice:

#1. Overcome ignorance with next level noticing:

  1. Managers report good performance to higher ups.
  2. Higher ups walk around noticing good performance.

Once a week every manager sends a brief email to their boss. The email includes:

  1. The names of three employees.
  2. A project each employee is currently working on.
  3. At least one thing each employee is doing well.
  4. The boss’s boss shows up unannounced to notice…

Hi Wilma. I’m Barney; your boss’s boss. Fred tells me you’re doing a great job on project X. He says that he always wants you working on important projects. He told me that you stick with tasks until you find good solutions. Thanks for your great work.

Don’t focus on measuring. Notice instead.

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” If this is true, you can’t manage many factors involved in performance.

  1. Initiative.
  2. Creativity.
  3. Collaboration.

You can manage behaviors that express initiative, but you can’t manage initiative.

#2. Overcome personality constraints to noticing by believing that everyone ISN’T like you.

You might believe the world would be a better place if people were more like you, but you’re wrong.

#3. Overcome busyness by expecting return on investment from noticing.

One of my friends and *coaching clients committed to a daily walk-about. Performance by all measures improved.

*Tip: Copy your boss when you compliment someone in an email.

#4. Overcome discomfort with noticing good performance by doing it.

What prevents leaders from noticing good performance?

How might leaders overcome reluctance to notice good performance?