There’s a lot of airtime given to ‘continuous improvement’ in the workplace. For us, improvement is an attitude and a set of behaviours. In the workplace, our approach to learning, improving and getting better predicts our success and progression. And it’s a continual journey and process (hence the name) and not an event.
Developing an improvement mindset and habits starts early – at the start of your career (if not before!). Understanding yourself as a performer, and beginning the process of creating your performance recipe and the need to continually work on this is vital.
Getting a good start on this is critical. We’ve been working quite a bit recently on talent and transition programmes to support graduates and developing leaders to adopt a performance improvement mindset. For many of these, The Performance Room has become a valuable tool to support them as they develop.
And so this week’s blog comes from Dominic Walker, Digital Marketing Graduate for Redrow Homes to share how he’s been approaching his performance improvement and how he’s been using The Performance Room to get a step ahead of the rest.
Stepping up routine
In my graduate scheme, I’m having to do some new and challenging tasks, and occasionally step up to the plate to perform at key moments, like inputting into important meetings, or give presentations where I need to make an impact. I’ve learnt that being ready and feeling confident is, for me, linked to being thoroughly prepared.
I’ve used the kitbag on performance routines (http://www.theperformanceroom.co.uk/kitbag/performance-routines/) to create an effective routine to follow that includes making sure I’ve got my prep done in advance and I’m prioritising sleep the night before. The simple principle of being well rested is remarkably important – more than I anticipated! I’ll refine my routine from here, but the whole concept of having a routine makes complete sense – simple but something I didn’t think of before.
As a graduate employee, I’ve got a lot of demands on my time. As well as getting to grips with a relatively new role (and environment), I’m also doing a Diploma, which is quite a commitment, and at times it’s been a struggle to balance everything. Two things have been useful here – getting clear on my goals and picture of success, and then using this to guide how I prioritise and organise my time.
The kitbag on goals (http://www.theperformanceroom.co.uk/kitbag/great-goal-setting/) has given me insight into how I could use goals differently – particularly helpful was in how to translate long term goals into weekly goals and a daily focus. I’ve used this to break down my week into slots and strategically use my time and energy to focus on priorities, with help from the training plan on leading when there’s no time in the day (http://www.theperformanceroom.co.uk/trainingplan/leading-when-theres-no-time-in-the-day/) and Ask an Expert. I’ve come up with a highly efficient and structured way of ensuring I’m allocating some high quality, productive time on my Diploma, and am really happy with how I’m balancing things at the moment.
Success in my role is contingent on how well I work with others – how I communicate, influence, persuade, get support from people around me. I’ve used the content on motivation not just to understand what motivates me (and take control of my own motivation) but also to get an insight into what motivates others. Particularly useful has been the kitbag on fuelling the motivation of those around you (http://www.theperformanceroom.co.uk/kitbag/part-of-the-solution-2/)
Probably the most value I’ve had from using TPR is how it’s shifted my thinking to viewing myself as a performer. It’s a new but entirely logical way of looking at things! The content on the site has then enabled me to start to work on specific aspects of my performance, and I’m looking forward to continuing to draw from it as I progress over the coming months and years!
Thanks to Dominic for that insight. So… what’s your approach to your improvement? Are you thinking about it in the right way? And adopting useful improvement habits, using resources and tools around you to the full?