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Boost team member performance in a matrix organization

A matrix organization is a type of organizational structure where employees report to more than one manager, usually based on different dimensions such as function, project, location, or industry. This can create some challenges for performance management, as team members may have conflicting priorities, expectations, and feedback from their multiple managers. Here are some tips on how to get better performance from a team member in a matrix organization:


  • Align goals and objectives: Make sure that the team member has clear and specific goals and objectives that are aligned with the overall vision and strategy of the organization. Communicate how their work contributes to the success of the organization and how it relates to the goals and objectives of their other managers. Use SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) criteria to set and track their progress.


  • Implement continuous and effective performance feedback: Provide regular and constructive feedback to the team member on their performance, both positive and negative. Use multiple sources of feedback, such as self-assessment, peer review, customer feedback, and data analysis. Use a feedback model, such as the Situation-Behavior-Impact (SBI) model, to deliver feedback in a clear and respectful way. Encourage the team member to seek feedback from their other managers as well and share it with you.


  • Conduct 360 degree reviews: A 360 degree review is a type of performance appraisal where the team member receives feedback from multiple perspectives, such as their managers, peers, subordinates, customers, and suppliers. This can help the team member gain a comprehensive and balanced view of their strengths and areas for improvement. It can also help identify any gaps or inconsistencies in the expectations and feedback from their different managers. Use a 360 degree review tool, such as 15Five, to facilitate the process and collect the feedback.


  • Create clear communication guidelines: Establish clear and consistent communication channels and protocols with the team member and their other managers. Agree on the frequency, mode, and agenda of communication. Use tools, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, to communicate effectively and efficiently. Avoid duplication or overlap of communication and information. Resolve any conflicts or issues that may arise from the matrix structure in a timely and respectful manner.


By following these tips, you can help your team member perform better in a matrix organization. You can also improve your own skills as a leader in a matrix environment by learning from other successful leaders who have mastered this challenge.


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