What happens when your team is short-staffed?

Managers, what happens when your team is short-staffed?

Recently Exemplary Performance (EP) studied high performers from a pool of over 12,000 managers in a major high technology company. We helped this company identify the managers whose teams consistently produced exemplary results. EP then interviewed these managers to capture how they were able to generate and sustain high performance. Based on these interviews, we produced a Profile of Management Excellence (PoME) which included key accomplishments, excellence indicators, critical tasks and other data*.

The PoME data served as the design specifications, allowing us to architect a management performance system that had measurable impact on key metrics such as revenue, cost of sales, employee retention, employee engagement and customer satisfaction.

The managers that we interviewed crossed all functional areas of the company – sales, product development, procurement, legal, and so forth. EP was able to identify six major accomplishments that these high performing managers produced to drive greater business results. (Click here to read about the first five.)

This article focuses on the final Major Accomplishment that enabled this company to architect a management performance system.

Major Accomplishment 6: Group and team operational direction, excellence, and continuity.

Success Criteria:

  • All planning and commitment setting aligns with the organization’s vision.
  • Managers effectively balance short-term requirements for the group with long-term strategies.
  • Team meets its fiscal year commitments each year.
  • Team performance continues uninterrupted when the team is short-staffed.
  • Managers meet or exceed planned commitments (such as budget, business, and succession) as set by leadership.

The list of Success Criteria not only makes sense to you as a manager, but documenting this as part of their management performance system is quite another challenge. Let’s look specifically at the third Success Criteria: Team performance continues uninterrupted when the team is short-staffed. This was possible because of the following Tasks in their management architecture.

1. Communicate the vision/mission to the team as it relates to the team’s organizational purpose and expected results.
2. Build and maintain a management talent pipeline.
3. Advocate for and secure open headcount to satisfy resource requirements.
4. Create an execution/operations document that translates strategy into actions.
5. Prioritize and assign work to direct reports that support the execution/operations document.
6. Develop team preparedness to assume responsibilities of other team members in the event of an absence.
7. Negotiate for and allocate resources in support of business and organizational objectives.

Reach out to us at: info@exemplaryperformance.com. We can help as you architect a high performance management approach for your team, whether your team is as large as the one we recently worked with or much smaller. The principles and process are the same. EP has been successfully supporting high performing teams throughout our history!

*To read more about this process, get a copy of Exemplary Performance – Driving Business Results by Benchmarking Your Star Performers by Dr. Paul H. Elliott and Dr. Al Folsom.

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