Managing a person’s performance requires a wide range of skills, from the inter-personal through to process skills. The key ones are as follows:
Without setting a goal, you cannot manage a performance since nobody has a yardstick with which to measure achievements. No measurement, no management.
Coaching is an essential part of managing staff performance so individuals can learn how things could have been achieved more efficiently. To improve performance, it is helpful to coach them through using questions such as:
- How do you think you could have done that differently, for a better outcome?
- Do you think ‘Z’ approach would have been more effective?
This allows staff to evaluate their own performance and helps them consider other possible approaches for next time.
A mentor’s role is that of someone who has ‘done it before’ so they use their own personal experience to meet the same objectives. This is frequently called mentoring, as opposed to coaching.
This is used to drive an individual’s performance to new highs because people often respond to the feeling of empowerment to complete a task by performing well, as long as there’s an appropriate level of coaching and feedback.
If a person is doing well at a particular task, or just in general, tell them and they are more likely to continue performing to that standard. Positive feedback makes people feel good, giving them a sense of achievement and motivating them to continue working hard.
On the flip side, if a person is performing ineffectively and they don’t know why, won’t improve. Constructive feedback enables individuals to address any problems or challenges and become more effective.
Listening and questioning
When you are listening to someone, focus on them and absorb what they say. Get underneath their skin and understand their perspective.
Asking relevant, probing, open questions allowing for further discussion to get to the core of any problems. This focuses on addressing the causes of issues, rather than unmet objectives.
People will not always tell you the real reasons for issues. For example, they may feel they should have the skills to do their job, but don’t really understand what they should be doing.
A person who isn’t managing their time effectively, and therefore not meeting their objectives, may need help to understand how they can manage their time better. You can help your employees by assisting them with things like task prioritisation.
Regarding your own time management, you may need to seek clarification from your manager to ensure priorities have not changed and that you are performing effectively.
Motivation is often used to explain poor performance and while there are often many factors, motivation is clearly a major factor in levels of performance. As a manager, you need to know what motivation is and how to encourage it in your people.
Despite their senior position, many managers are unable to be genuinely assertive. They are either unable to ask for what they want without trampling over the rights of their people or to set firm boundaries and expectations.
360 degree appraisals
This is a useful assessment if an individual is unaware of their performance level or if it differs greatly from how others see it. It can also help when the individual is not receptive to constructive feedback.
It combats this lack of awareness and thus raises the individual’s performance because the feedback is usually supplied anonymously so it’s harder for the individual to dispute the findings.
Post courtesy of People Alchemy – for access to the Alchemy for Managers online resource visit http://www.peoplealchemy.co.uk/catalyst