Managers always want the best from their people and that means that they expect them to deliver results to the criteria agreed.
Where their people fail to show up with the outcomes they want, that can mean that failure is so often the only way to describe what happened.
Savvy managers understand that when things don’t go to plan, there are opportunities to learn and grow for those involved, because most employees want their actions to deliver successes, yet they are keenly aware that there will be times when this simply does not happen.
Depending on their experiences, individuals have varying comfort levels with their line manager, such that they will fear failure or appreciate an opportunity to improve to achieve the standards and results expected.
It’s important for managers to understand that however an individual performs is likely to be their best shot this time round. Most employees want to succeed, if not for their manager, for their own sense of pride of achievement too.
Not meeting the desired outcomes can be a painful experience for an employee, so it’s vital that managers recognize their efforts, even where they have fallen short. Failing to do this is likely to heighten an employee’s sensitivities and confidence such that they may freeze in future, creating even worse performance.
One key action a good manager will take will be to investigate whether they themselves might have done anything differently to help their employee become successful. By accepting that they can learn and sharing that with the employee who has not achieved the standards required, will help that employee too.
No-one is perfect. Everyone tries to be. Individuals need support to understand that imperfection is allowed and ultimately, doing their best and then learning to be even better is often the best we can hope for.
And doing their best and growing in a fertile learning environment is often enough.