Article: Soft skills have come to the fore and are, intrinsically harder to measure: Mark Bilton

Performance Management

Soft skills have come to the fore and are, intrinsically harder to measure: Mark Bilton

Performance management will now need to be based on milestone delivery and an agile approach to execution, says Mark Bilton, Managing Director of Thought Patrol, in an interaction with People Matters.
Soft skills have come to the fore and are, intrinsically harder to measure: Mark Bilton

Mark Bilton is an international award-winning, “Leaders Advocate” with 20 years Managing Director and CEO experience, leading 6 companies. This included a transformational role as Group Managing Director of Gloria Jean’s Coffees’ global business, leading 40 countries. Mark has a passion for helping individuals and companies ‘’realize their potential’’. His mission is to ‘’reframe leadership’’ and ‘’humanize the workplace’’. He fulfills this now as a Leadership Advisor, Independent Director, CEO Mentor, Strategist, YPO Facilitator, and Managing Director of Thought Patrol.

Here are the excerpts of the interview.

What are CEOs struggling with the most right now? Is it more about managing flexible working and accelerating digital transformation or something else?

One significant challenge most CEOs are dealing with is how to lead a disparate team. With lockdowns and travel restrictions, leaders now have to work effectively in an online environment. 

When the business world started working from home in 2020, measuring performance was harder than ever. How do you see the current scenario of managing performance and measuring productivity?

Productivity measurement is now under pressure. One upside of a remote team is that you can only measure outcomes rather than process. This necessitates an open-minded, empowering leadership style.

The legacy metrics are no longer useful in assessing a remote workforce, as many experts say. Do you think it’s time for organizations to shift the needle on performance assessment and productivity management?

Absolutely! Performance management will now need to be based on milestone delivery and an agile approach to execution. 

A Gartner poll of HR leaders showed that 87 percent of HR leaders were considering changes to performance reviews. Do you think, this will create additional responsibilities for HR leaders? 

Progressive HR leaders were already in transition to a less industrialized review cycle. 

Do you think organizations are shifting to an agile, goals-based approach to performance measurement that focuses on outcomes rather than activity? Or, are they still struggling?

Yes, there is a move to an agile goals-based approach. This has been accelerated by the necessity to manage remote teams. Many business leaders are still struggling with this, especially if their natural style is more traditional and control based.

What according to you are the top challenges to manage productivity and assess performance at a time like this, especially for remote workers?

It is challenging to maintain the connection between team members. This is where a lot of value lies, and it is largely lost in an online work environment unless you actively promote connection opportunities.

How can leaders enhance the morale of virtual workers effectively so that they feel engaged and stay productive?

Connection and transparency remain key drivers of morale regardless of location. Feedback and opportunities to grow professionally can be lost online unless specifically thought about and catered for.

What should be the key components of the much talked about framework of continuous assessment when everyone is talking about collaboration, innovation, business impact, and client success?

Continuous assessment should be self, peer, and leader-led. Soft skills have come to the fore and are, by nature intrinsically harder to measure, as they are more subjective. Couple this with collaboratively agreed on outputs and outcomes, both team and individual.

 

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Topics: Performance Management, #RethinkPerformance

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