Performance-linked communication

Performance-linked communication is a system that relates organizational communication to the performance needs of the organization by answering the question:

What needs to be communicated to the person doing the job so that targets can be achieved?

And then building the infrastructure to ensure delivery.

Performance feedback is the official information from the organization that tells individuals and teams how they are performing against targets. Performance-linked communication, on the other hand, is the communication of performance-related information (including feedback) and understanding from a sender to a receiver so that the message is understood.

Organizations with consistent track records of success have systems that support consistent performances by the large majority of their work-forces. These organizations do not rely on the ability of an outstanding minority, but rather build excellence by implementing systems that focus on the competent majority.

Performance-linked communication is a purposeful, ongoing and integral part of an organization’s continuous improvement system. It can be a major contributor to a sustainable competitive advantage by ensuring the continuous communication of performance information to all the people doing the work.

Performance-linked communication is a performance management tool. It communicates the organization’s values, vision, mission, strategic goals and targets throughout the organization. This provides a unified sense of direction that has everyone singing from the same song sheet. The strategy is translated into team outputs, performance measures, targets, and action plans to ensure that what people do on a daily basis is connected to the achievement of the organization’s goals. How the team is performing in relation to outputs, performance measures and targets is monitored and fed back to the teams so that variations can be identified and corrected. Continuous performance feedback gives control to the team because it shows them how they are doing and what they need to do to improve and correct. Good performance is rewarded and reinforced, thereby motivating employees and anchoring performance improvement. Poor performance is analyzed and corrected.

Performance-linked communication systematically translates the vision of the organization into information that can guide the daily activities of each person in the organization so that they work to achieve that vision.

... innovative managers agree that the most common roadblock they had to overcome” was “poor communication with other departments on whom they depended for information.” She concluded that “a communication system, depending on the kind adopted by a given corporation, can either constrain or empower the effort to innovate,” and that in companies where she observed open communication, “information and ideas flowed freely and were accessible; technical data and alternative points of view could be gathered with greater ease.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter

For more information see our publication: Performance-linked communication, How to communicate the right information to the right people at the right time.

Detailed references and additional information can be provided on request, and questions are welcome. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.