Managing staff performance

Feel free to circulate as e-learning to your staff.

Wrong Communication at Work
  • Management Skills

Employees generally don't leave their company because of their pay but rather the way they have been managed or because development opportunities didn't materialise"

Cranfield School of Management

To do a job 3 things are needed: the knowledge that underpins the job; the skill to be able to do the job and the attitude i.e. the will to complete the job to the standards required.

So performance management boils down to 3 simple questions:

Knowledge: Do they know what to do?

Skill: Do they know how to do it?

Will: Do they want to do it?

Even though managers are busy, time needs to be spent to addressing performance issues to facilitate staff in fulfilling their potential. Suggestions to help include:

  • Establish why under performance is happening. Finding the reason allows the manager to tackle the problem (not the symptom)
  • Set clear objectives and give unambiguous feedback regularly on staff performance
  • Give behavioural feedback on what has been observed and how it doesn’t match up to the standard required. Stressing the effect of the behaviour can also be influential
  • Encourage and motivate the individual. Perhaps a change of managerial style might produce better results
  • Listen to the under-performer’s issues and unblock things that prevent them working well. Look for signs indicating bullying or harassment, or perhaps problems at home. Unless the manager really listens, solutions may never be found
  • Offer extra coaching if required. It could be that they need a confidence boost or perhaps have difficulty with stress and cannot multi-task well
  • Adjust workloads/add variety/delegate extra duties to build self esteem. Beware that it’s not seen as a reward for under-performance
  • Adjust the way in which the work is done to improve systems/processes
  • Transfer staff member to another department/job. Again a risk of the action being seen as a reward for under-performance
  • Where the performance gap is large, performance counseling may help – an informal meeting booked in advance in a quiet area away from the normal workspace

Of course, disciplinary action is the ultimate solution but should be seen as a last resort in most cases of under-performance.

Find out a lot more about this topic with our bite sized ready-to-deliver course materials: Managing Performance.

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