At Q2Q we don’t have the traditional yearly performance review, instead I have regular one-to-one chats with all the team just to check in and cover any concerns or needs. Continuous improvement is something that’s ingrained into how we work every day.
However, I do sit down with each member of the team at the end of the financial year to have a round up of what we feel is going well, what could be improved, and what they need from me to be able to excel in their role. These sessions are often quite transformative in terms of helping the team to see their strengths and ensure that they can use them. Its also my favourite part of the year as I get to hand out bonuses and pay increases!!
We have another tradition at Q2Q that is perhaps a little less ordinary; I have a performance review, led by Damien, our Tech Consultant, whereby he gathers feedback from the crew about me, then he and I review my performance. I’ve told a few people about this process, and many seem surprised, but I see this as an essential element of my role.
When you’re theoretically at the “top of the ladder” and there is no longer someone you report to, it’s not always easy to assess how you’re performing as a leader. Making your own observations of yourself will always be floored to a certain extent. Some people will be extra hard on themselves (that’s me!!); others may not have the insight to be able to sit in the shoes of their team and really understand how their leadership style affects them.
Being a total non- techie, it’s tough when we’re busy as I can’t muck in with the day-to-day tasks, and whilst I am a good “cheerleader” I need to deliver a lot more than just a “well done” from the side-lines. So, in my chat with Damien last month, the most interesting aspect for me was hearing what the team value the most in terms of my contribution.
What genuinely surprised me the most was that almost without exception, they all wanted more one-to-one sessions with me as they all found these helpful, having the opportunity to explore how they can grow, and contribute more to the team. Some of the chats can be a little like a therapy session, digging into beliefs that might be holding them back, or discovering new ways of approaching sticky situations at work. Perhaps not what you’d expect in a technical environment!
They also wanted more weekly team meetings… these have slipped a lot lately as we’re now back in full swing with customer site visits, so its rare that we’re all in the office on any given day and I’ve been too quick to “bump” them for the next time that we’re all in.
The most painful feedback from the team was the fact that I’ve apparently been moaning about a particular issue for over a year now that’s within my control, and I’ve not taken any action to rectify it! Ouch!! A clear case of not practising what I preach!
Overall, it’s always a hugely motivating session for me. The team know that they have been heard, and I can implement any changes that are needed in terms of my behaviours, and I can ensure that the team see value in my leadership and my contribution.
When was the last time you ask for feedback from your team or your peers? Is this something that is encouraged where you work?
If working with a tech support business that strives for continuous improvement is something that resonates with you, or you simply want to talk about the challenges within your business, get in touch with us – the kettle is always on at Q2Q IT!