How to Become Your Own Boss as an Employee?

Performance management is an essential tool for every organization as it ensures that the company’s goals are met adequately. As an umbrella term, performance management focuses its attention on many things, including the whole organization, a department, an employee, or even the process of building a product or service, among many other things.

When it comes to managing employees, in particular, the key is to align their goals and objectives with that of the organization. Unfortunately, however, many business owners and managers believe that performance management and performance appraisal are the same things.

On the one hand, performance management refers to activities, programs, tools, and processes that manage the performance of an individual employee, teams, or departments. On the other hand, performance appraisal refers to the evaluation of an employee, group, or department concerning their performance relative to the intended goal or objective. In other words, the latter is only one of the activities that fall under the broader performance management.

Regardless of this fact, it’s important to realize that the traditional model of performance management is no longer viable in the 21st century. Despite this, many organizations still cling to it. Rewarding a staff member with permanent employment is not as sought-after, and neither is a pure salary increase. Companies need to focus on other employee benefits and strategies if they wish to remain competitive in today’s business environment.

In today’s day and age, organizations need to take a look at the situation through the employee’s eyes. What are their likes and dislikes, what makes them feel challenged, supported recognized, or valued? How can the employees help their managers take this direction and how can they become their own boss?

What Motivators Do All Top Performing Teams Have in Common?

To understand what goes on in the employee’s mind, we must first understand what makes a team or an employee a top performer. Four motivators help them achieve it.

Challenging Work – One of the key motivators for employees is challenging, exciting work. As most of us know, routine and monotony are the death of motivation, and this case is no different. People generally want to be busy and happy at their job, keeping themselves active and moving out of their comfort zones now and again. Besides, employees will never buy into a company’s goals or culture if only given mundane tasks. The key here is to strike the right balance between challenge and doability.

Trust – A high-trust working environment opens up people to share their experience and failures without fear of repercussions. Regular weekly staff meetings and a well-established company culture that revolves around feedback can achieve the necessary level of trust for employees to perform.

Responsibility – Motivation also arises when people are made personally responsible for their results. Challenging work with the proper manager support allows employees to take on more responsibilities, which, in turn, helps them grow as leaders and decision-makers in their inherent right.

Personal Growth – When employees are offered the opportunity for personal growth, they are more inclined to stay at their job – sometimes even for less pay than elsewhere. As long as they feel that they are becoming better skilled and more competent in their current post, their motivation will also increase.

Management by Responsibility – When it comes to similar characteristics of top-performing teams, shared goals, values, and plans come to mind. Also, continuous evaluation and appraisal, as well as a clear leadership, can also be included.

When top performing teams and good leadership come together, they usually practice management by exceptionIt implies that when a task is assigned, reporting will not be necessary unless there are some exceptions to the agreed-upon plan or schedule.

But when the motivators are also in place, management by responsibility also becomes an option. It is when staff members are given complete responsibility for their tasks without any intervention on the manager’s part. You will be surprised what people can accomplish if they feel personally responsible and have no excuses to fall back on.

The Power of Self-Examination

Aligning the purpose of the company with that of the employee is but the first step in obtaining this management by responsibility. The second phase is about maintaining it, and this is where feedback becomes a factor.

We’ve already established that a high-trust working environment is beneficial for both employees and the organization they work for. But in many cases, this is easier said than done. On the one side, managers tend to water down their feedback with generalizations. While on the other, however, employees almost always try to put themselves in a better light and avoid to give any constructive feedback to their boss, even when it’s necessary.

This angst does not result in a very productive form of communication. It not only brings little value to the organization, managers, and employees, but it can also be counterproductive.

Everything needs to start with self-examination, which is equally valid for the manager as it is for the employee. It is how you can lay the foundations for a strong company culture that can benefit everyone involved.

Through self-examination people at all levels of the organization can get a better understanding of their aspirations, motivations, and personality. It helps employees build an image about themselves, of who they are and who they want to be.

It also helps them focus on their behavior and evaluate their performance to identify their strengths, weaknesses, as well as the opportunities for improvement. In other words, self-examination helps employees become their own boss.

Persona.fit is a feedback-based tool that helps employees achieve this. It can also give them insight into your reputation, telling them what other employees see in them. This information can then be used as a solid starting point, showcasing the differences between what each employee of who they are, what they want, and what they do. The app will allow its users to administer their progress and measure it against their targets and their level of engagement.

As an employee, it’s better that you don’t wait until a formal feedback process kicks in and take matters into your hands, instead. With Persona.fit, employees can provide honest feedback to both their peers and superiors and create a thriving company culture that revolves around feedback.

Jan Kwint

Jan Kwint

Jan Kwint is founder of Persona.fit and CEO of LTP. Through his work as an Executive and Consultant he has developed a strong interest in how a feedback culture can help develop individuals and teams. This is also part of a book he recently published on Psychology and Agility: ‘Ik ben Erica!’ (I am Erica!).