Create A Cycle Of Success To Ramp Up Performance

Posted in : Coaching in the Moment on 4 August 2020
Karl O'Connor
OCN Coaching Champions Ltd
Issues covered: Performance management; Motivation; Coaching; Performance Improvement

A re-occurring theme leaders face when reviewing their team and individual direct reports performance is: ‘how do we know what to focus on? Where do we start?’ As coaches, we have been asked these questions many times across different industries. The topic is particularly relevant now as leaders focus on delivering more through their people during a time of unprecedented change.

The tool we are about to share with you is one of the most effective we have for creating real momentum in performance improvement. It’s called the ‘Cycle of Success’.

Create a cycle of success for performance improvement

The Challenge

Where do I start to help improve my team and individuals output?

The Solution

Use the ‘Cycle of Success’ tool to create a structured approach to performance improvement. Focus on the three pillars of performance improvement: Clarity, Skill and Will.   

Takeaway Actions

Use a 1-10 rating scale to identify:

1.How clear people are regarding their roles and goals?

2. Do they have the right skills and knowledge to deliver?

3. Have they the will or motivation to deliver the required performance?

Clarity: If you don’t know where you going, you will end up going around in a circle, like a car on a roundabout.

When diagnosing a person’s performance, it’s essential to understand if the person is clear about what is expected of them in the first instance. Are their current roles clear as they might have changed owing to the pandemic? Have key goals been re-freshed, agreed and have the appropriate behaviours, or competencies been identified and communicated? Use a coaching approach and ask the individual , on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being absolute clarity, how clear they are on what they need to achieve and also how they will deliver this performance. Where the assessment is 9 or lower, then focus on the gap and how you can close it by becoming clearer on what needs to be delivered and the behaviours required.

In the case of Teams you can check for clarity using the GRPI model by Richard Bechart (an organisation development pioneer) focusing on :

  • Goals- what the team wants to achieve
  • Roles- what needs to be done and who will do it
  • Processes- how the team collaborates and communicates
  • Interpersonal- how the team members interact on a personal basis

Once again you can use the 1-10 rating scale to diagnose any gaps in each team area and then decide how best to plug them. 

Skills: Having the necessary knowledge and skills to deliver in their roles is essential for individuals and teams to effectively perform in their roles. Since Covid 19, for example, people have had to embrace new ways of working such as flexible or remote working. What training has been provided to equip them to carry out their new work practices?

Once again you can use the 1-10 rating scale approach. This time you can use it to feed into a Training Needs Analysis (TNA), listing all your team members on a matrix and cross-checking their levels of competence in the key skills and knowledge areas required for them to be effective. Ask your team members to self audit in the first instance and then you can validate their answers afterwards from your own observation. Agree the appropriate ratings and address any gaps. From a team perspective, when you look at the composite picture which emerges from this learning diagnostic, it will help you to put a team training plan in place. Even where you have done this at the start of the year, the exercise might need to be re-freshed in light of current significant change environment.

When your people are competent, you now have built the foundation of that third element, confidence, the starter fuel for motivation!

Will: As we know its best to recruit for will and train for skill, however over time people’s motivation can wane. Leaders need to continuously motivate their people to ensure best results for the customer, colleagues and the organisation

There are countless models of motivation a manager can look to in order to help them engage with their people. Regardless of which approach you use, it is essential to have regular conversations and listen to understand what drives your staff member and to find out their current level of motivation and what will encourage them to engage or re-engage again. See our recent blog on the impact of dramatic change on motivation. We also recommend you check back on our blog on the Skill-Will Matrix to help you map the outcomes from this analysis.

 Circle of Success

Figure 1:  Cycle of Success - An essential coaching model

You can use the Cycle of Success model for individuals, teams and organisations. It is one of the most powerful and easy to use coaching frameworks for performance management and continuous improvement!


This article is correct at 04/08/2020

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Karl O'Connor
OCN Coaching Champions Ltd

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