Performance Chain Revisited

The logistics industry is heavily dependent on data and technology. The most successful LSPs (Logistics Service Providers) are innovative in their efforts to improve service and productivity to the benefit of both clients and providers. The nuts and bolts of logistics also involves people, so basic front line management skills can improve operations.

Here is a proven method for the toolbox. The links of the performance chain can help with day to day management and problem solving.

Expectations– Are goals and deliverables crystal clear? Don’t assume. Feedback– Information which is specific, timely, and relevant. Not just an annual review. Resources– Time, tools, and staffing to do the job right. Skills/Knowledge– Is training needed? Managers often point to training as the solution to problems. However, if employees know how to do the job training may not be the answer to performance issues. Look to the other links of the chain. Capacity– Does the person have the physical and mental ability to do the job with training? If not, reassign or terminate, and screen new hires more carefully. Incentives– What rewards are most meaningful to the workforce? These include money, benefits, flex time, etc. and will vary for individuals. Incentives are external and provided by the company. Motivation– Internal and personal to each employee. Top performers are self motivated. For others the idea is to bring out their motivation through incentives, training, or simply clearer expectations and feedback.

New to management? The performance chain is a good starting place. Experienced manager? Old dogs can learn new tricks.

Thanks to Jack Zigon for refreshing my memory.