To develop you member’s performance, you need to build a sense of competence among your team members. There are five strategies to accomplish this:
– Providing Knowledge
– Giving Positive feedback
– Skill Recognition
– High, non comparative standards
Over time, workers gain a great deal of knowledge through their own experience with a task through experimentation and feedback. Some of this knowledge is implicit or tacit, difficult to express, like how to perform a physical skill gracefully. The rest is explicit knowledge that can be expressed and shared. This explicit knowledge includes learnings about techniques, best practices, and rules of thumb that contribute to competent performance. Adding to this knowledge can be a relatively quick way of increasing competence?allowing workers to jump ahead of where they would otherwise be on their own learning curve.
Providing Appreciative Feedback
Workers must be able to monitor the competence of their ongoing activities in order to make adjustments in their performance. Much of this feedback is available to workers as they interact with a product or customer, but some needs to be measured more elaborately. Under self-management, workers need to be given the tools and data needed to assess the quality of their performance and to make adjustments themselves whenever possible.
When you give team members recognition for the competence of their work, you are doing a number of important things. For example, you are strengthening the message that good work is important, valued, and noticed. You are appreciating the effort and accomplishment involved ? providing a kind of “thank you” for a team member’s contribution on behalf of the team and the organization. But perhaps most important, you are also validating and amplifying that team member’s sense of competence. For a moment, the two of you step back from the task activity, view the work in perspective, and together appreciate how well it was done.
People perform best when there is a fit between their ability and the task difficulty, or challenge. If the task is too easy, their attention wanders and they become bored. If it’s too difficult, they get anxious and do less than their best work. An ideally challenging task is just manageable and requires full concentration. Because the task is challenging, it inspires even more satisfaction when it is performed well.
Fostering High, Non-comparative Standards
In the self-management of the new work, standards of competence have to be internalized by workers. Standards have to matter to workers?to be important to them?if workers are to strive for standards and feel rewarded by meeting them. This caring about competence, of course, won’t be independent of the other things they care about. So, as leader, it will be useful to think about helping to create a culture of competence in a team. This means making sure that team members see the connection between competence standards and the other things that the team cares about?specifically its vision, its values, and its understanding of customer needs.