Managing Performance Tool Kit

Managing Performance Tool Kit

Managing performance is a key aspect of any leadership role. Enabling people to be at their best is pivotal in building employee engagement and delivering the best customer experience. Providing feedback is essential to build and develop skills, not to mention challenging dysfunctional behaviour. Having the skills and knowledge to manage performance is essential for managers. Here's our tool kit to help manage the performance of your team.

Our recommended toolkit has four elements:

  • Training
  • Coaching
  • Counselling
  • Discipline 

Here are the elements in more detail.

Training

Training provides a structured way of learning which can be in groups or on a one-to-one basis. Training normally happens off the job and is delivered by a subject matter expert (e.g. a trainer or an expert software package). Training builds competence and confidence, taking people to a certain point of knowledge and skills.

Managers can provide the training themselves or delegate to another (e.g. a trainer or an external training company). Either way, the manager needs to ensure that best value is gained from the training by properly identifying training needs and measuring the outcomes. 

Coaching

Coaching develops knowledge and skills beyond training. Delivered on a one-to-one basis, coaching continues to build competence and helps tackle motivational and/or confidence issues. Coaching can be delivered by a manager, a colleague or team member. If the coach has the right skills, the coach does not have to be a subject matter expert. The expertise of a successful coach lies in being able to encourage the employee to think things through.
We recommend that managers use the GROW approach to coaching. This means establish the goal, check on the reality of what’s happening now and encourage the employee to think through the options. Managers can then offer and/or suggest solutions if needed. The final part of using GROW is to check the will and motivation of the employee by asking when the new skills and knowledge will be applied. 

Counselling

Counselling seeks to provide support when performance of an employee has dipped or a sudden change in behaviour has taken place. For example, an employee may be experiencing personal issues that are impacting their work. Alternatively, work issues and relationships may exist that have a negative impact. Either way, a manager needs to work to understand what’s happening and encourage the employee to work through whatever is affecting their work in a negative way.

Counselling can provide one or a combination of the following – information (e.g. where to go to seek advice or maybe make a decision); support (e.g. just to be listened to can sometimes be enough); insight (e.g. feedback and/or observations from an objective point of view) and change (e.g. helping an employee to change their behaviour in a positive way). In summary, counselling skills can be very helpful on managing performance.

Discipline

Disciplinary action is the formal way of improving performance. It is not about getting rid of employees. Correct procedures need to be followed at all times and asking advice from experts such as your human resources team is essential. Issues such as conduct and capability need to be understood. Disciplinary should normally be a last resort rather than a first option.

Taking disciplinary action requires thorough preparation. It requires sound, unbiased judgement. As mentioned before, correct company procedures must be followed. Listening to both sides is critical to avoid any pre-judgement. Undertaken correctly, taking disciplinary action can correct and improve employee performance or resolve the situation for the better in other ways. 

In summary, our recommended managing performance tool kit will help improve the performance of your team. It requires using the right tool in the right way at the right time. 

Our Managing Performance training covers how to use our recommended tool kit as well as how improve feedback skills. We also review and refresh approaches to performance and employee appraisals. For more information please contact paul@beyondtheory.co.uk.


Paul Beesley
Director and Senior Consultant
Beyond Theory


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