Chapter 9: Performance Management Skills

Key coaching behaviours
diagnose performance problems
give feedback and develop employees
promoting confidence
Successful coaching: guiding principles
A good coaching relationship:
-active interest
-acknowledges the positives
-employee is the source and director of change, the coach is a facilitator.
Coaching styles
Use all four as appropriate. Adapt to the situation to be more or less assertive, task oriented, and people oriented.
As a manager, why bother document?
minimize mental work
reduce memory related errors
creates trust
helps plan for the future
provide legal protection
Characteristics of good documentation
few adjectives and adverbs
balance positives with negatives
focus on job-related information
standardize procedures
describe observable behaviour
Giving feedback
main purpose of feedback:
-build confidence and competence
-enhance involvement
-improve future performance

costs of poor/no feedback:
-difficult for employees to improve their own performance
-employees have inaccurate perceptions of their performance quality

effective feedback is:
-consistent standards
-given privately

effective feedback:
-provides description and evidence first, evaluation second
-covers positives and negatives
-identifies patterns
-describes context and consequences
-allows for discussion and idea generation

giving praise:
-be sincere – only give praise when it is deserved
-be specific, provide evidence and description
-be comfortable and take your time

negative feedback is necessary, however managers often avoid giving negative feedback due to…
-negative reactions and past experience
-dislike of playing “judge and jury”
-perceived need for irrefutable and conclusive evidence

negative feedback should give employees control over their future by:
-identifying performance problems early on when they are still manageable
-clarifying what unwanted behaviours are and their consequences
-focusing on behaviour that is controllable
-come from a credible source
-be supported by data

Feedback sessions should address
current performance: how is your job going?
skills and resources: do you have what you need to do your job?
training: are you adequately trained?
the future: what can be done to improve?
the customer: how can customers be better served?
Before a performance review
give at least two weeks notice
block sufficient time
arrange to meet in a private location without interruptions
don’t rush
sample performance review meeting components
1. explanation of meeting purpose
2. employee self-appraisal
3. supervisor and employee share rating and rationale
4. developmental discussion, including resources and training.
5. employee summary
6. rewards discussion
7. follow-up meeting arrangement
8. approval and appeals process discussion
9. final recap
To prevent/reduce defensive behaviours
don’t forget the positive
stay factual and on topic
establish and maintain support
be empathetic
observe verbal and nonverbal cues
don’t threaten, encourage. it’s amazing how reframing prevents problems
encourage participation
Defensive behaviours of employees
Fight response
-blaming others
-staring at supervisor
-raising voice
-aggressive responses

Flight response
-looking/turning away
-speaking softly
-continually changing the subject
-quickly agreeing without basis
-passive responses

When defensiveness happens
Recognize it and allow expression
-acknowledge employee’s feelings
-ask for additional information and clarification (if appropriate)
-get comfortable with being silent and simply waiting for the other person to vent out/get tired
-reschedule if situation becomes intolerable
-have a plan for calling for help
Disciplinary process and termination
Formal disciplinary process usually involves:
-verbal warnings
-written warnings

which may lead to termination
not all offenses require warnings
follow the companies progressive discipline policy to the letter

Occasionally, decision-making leave may be offered
-a day or week of contemplation that is paid and allows the employee to stay home and decide whether working in this organization is what he or she really wants to do.

Disciplinary process and termination: pitfalls
1. Acceptance of poor performance
-people believe that substandard performance is acceptable (or even outstanding).
-it becomes difficult to fire with cause
-high performing employees will feel like they are being taken advantage of and lose motivation.

2. Failure to get the message through
-be specific about the problem, potential solutions, and consequences.

3. Performance standards are unrealistic or unfair
-make sure the standard is fair and provide documentation (i.e., data) of poor performance

4. Negative affective reactions
-do not let emotional reactions distract you, stay task oriented. Saying less is often best

5. Failure to consult HR
-consult with HR regarding legal requirement prior to termination.

Disciplinary process and termination
When terminating an employee:
-be respectful and get right to the point
-wish the employee well (carefull)
-send the employee to HR
-have the employee leave immediately
-have the termination meeting at the end of the day
-have security ready
-close all access points: keys, ID badges, have IT change computer access during the meeting.

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