Hi Guys,

Long time listener of MT however first time posting in the forums.

I work as a Sales Director for an SME in the UK and have a dilemma regarding a situation with one of my directs.

This direct is a good performer and has been with the company for approx 18 months in a sales/business development role. 

The recent economic troubles have not made life easy regarding this direct hitting targets etc however overall I feel he's on the right track.

The main issue is that our owner/MD has his own (largely unfounded) concerns over the performance of my direct and has requested that I start to document the meetings I have with my direct where performance issues are discussed.

I'm concerned that if I begin to document the meetings (which is outside general company policy) I will cause my direct to become alarmed about why our meetings are suddenly being followed by a summary of what was discussed/agreed etc. and his performance will suffer/he'll look to further his career elsewhere.

On the other hand if I don't document the meetings, the owner/MD believes we will not have sufficient evidence to support a possible case for letting my direct go in the future (not ideal I know but unfortunately these things go on as much as I don't agree with the thought/approach)

To make matters more difficult we don't currently have an appraisal system that would assist with this process and make it less obvious/concerning to the direct.

I look forward to hearing your views on this situation.





tlhausmann's picture
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Hmmm. Are you doing weekly one-on-ones with your directs? If you are conducting weekly meetings with each direct following the MT format then you have at the end of each O3 notes on any coaching/development activities for each direct.

In your post you suggest that such notes on performance are "outside general company policy"--I doubt your company has a policy _forbidding_ such documentation. Is it that your company just hasn't done it in the past?

I encourage you to re-listen to the casts on rolling out the trinity. (There are four parts)

Consider also setting goals for each direct after you have started rolling out the trinity. Setting goals helps you establish data for routine performance appraisals--in effect starting an appraisal process.

dmorrison's picture

I'd be honest with him. Tell your guy that your boss thinks he's under-performing, and the best way to illustrate the truth is to document performance. Your direct will most likely be thankful for you going to bat for him, and help you document the work in the future.

You'll probably get better performance from your direct and your boss will see you as a better manager than he thought -- because if your boss thinks your guy isn't good, he probably thinks that you are not as good as you could be too, right?



RickMeasham's picture

G'day Matt

I would disagree with Dan (sorry mate). I don't think it's professional to blame the boss for actions you're taking -- even if you've been directed to do it. The suggestion that the documentation will "illustrate the truth" sounds to the direct like you disagree with the boss, which is never a good message to send.

Instead, other than the Trinity, set goals for your directs. All of your directs. And document the goals for all of them.

If you need to be discreet about taking notes, use the opportunity of a new venture (the goals) as an excuse to change your behaviour.

Set the goals enthusiastically. The GFC is over. It's now the best time to start selling like crazy, so get your team fired up. Set them goals. Put the goals up on the wall and update them with successful sales. Then, in each direct's O3, take notes about the goal.

It's a new venture, so you're allowed to change your behaviour. Nobody is going to be upset that you're taking notes, and if your boss follows up, you'll have what you need for him.

Rick Measham

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