Times of uncertainty and volatility rock the boat – they often change what and how things need to be done. This places unfamiliar pressures on people and elevates stress. Ed Week’s “What Teachers Who Might Quit Are Really Thinking” and other articles highlight some of the unintended consequences:
- Feeling undervalued, more exhausted, more dissatisfied
- Grappling with additional work and more responsibilities
- Scrambling to keep up with changing requirements and policies
- Uneven balance of work with family life (especially when family members are ill or children are home due to COVID closures)
- More stressful and punishing work environment
Performance Systems Reflect Beliefs
Most of these unintended consequences can be managed or even eliminated with the right support. TregoED’s most recent white Paper, “Ever Ready Leadership in a VUCA World” recognizes Performance Systems as one of the 5P’s – characteristics, systems or skills necessary to successfully navigate the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of today’s education environment.
TregoED’s view of human performance is based on the fundamental beliefs that people, at heart, want to do a good job. No one sets out to fail or do poorly. Research shows that when performance suffers, 85% of the time it is due to factors in the performance environment – not a problem with a person’s ability to do the job.
Key Areas Affecting Performance
A person’s performance is a result of several factors which either impede someone’s success or support it including:
- the job setting,
- access to necessary resources,
- clarity about what is expected,
- quality and consistency of feedback,
- ensuring competing tasks don’t interfere,
- ensuring consequences support desired results.
Don’t wait for people to leave
Literally everything we need to do on the job – or that we need others to do – is influenced by critical elements of the performance system. It is tempting to point fingers and place blame when someone’s performance is lackluster. However, think of how much more productive and supportive it can be to first look at what in their performance environment is getting in the way? And in times of VUCA, there is no need to wait for performance breakdowns. We can stabilize the proverbial boat by proactively removing obstacles and supporting people in achieving desired results in a less punishing way.