The Best Managers Know How and When to Manage Employee Performance
The cartoon illustrates a classic new manager situation – a lack of communication between a boss and employee regarding performance expectations. Knowing how and when to manage employee performance is one of the most important skills of a new manager.
Unclear Performance Expectations
The worker assumes he should miss the putt in order to make his boss look good. The boss plans to evaluate the employee in a positive way only if he makes the putt. As a new manager, don’t let this kind of performance confusion block your employees from performing at their peak.
Creating a High Performance Environment
Effective leaders create the circumstances to get the most out of their employees. Done right, individual performance improvement leads to improved team performance. And improved team performance is critical to your success as a new manager.
Why Annual Performance Reviews Are Ineffective
The dreaded annual performance review is no longer in vogue…and with good reason. A once yearly check-in on an employee’s job performance is not very effective. When you have to think back on 12 or even 6 months of a worker’s job execution, you risk omitting important coaching points…both positive and negative.
An issue may have arisen, remain unresolved and continue to impede your employee’s full engagement in the job. Or an opportunity for learning on-the-job may have been missed. Either way you lose your influence as a manager over improving a team member’s performance in a timely fashion.
How Often Should You provide Performance Feedback?
This is not to say that there should not be some formalized process for reviewing employees on the quality of their work. You need some sort of rating system that can let people know where they stand, help guide merit pay increases and promotions, and create targeted development plans. It is important to have a structure in place that holds managers accountable for engaging and developing their employees.
But we maintain that both the employee and the manager benefit from ongoing, less structured, more frequent performance conversations in addition to the more formal performance discussion. Hopefully how to manage performance is an integral part of your new manager training.
An Example of a Good Idea Gone Bad
One local school district experimented recently with eliminating number grades in favor of general comments on student behavior, effort, and progress. They decided to issued these report cards twice during the academic year. You’d have thought that teachers would be relieved not to have to assign specific grades, that students would be relieved of the performance pressure to get high grades, and that parents would be less concerned about where their student fit in the class as long as they were learning, behaving appropriately and trying their best.
But not one of these three stakeholders was satisfied.
The point is that, in a corporate setting as in an academic environment, regular, meaningful, accurate, timely, fair and transparent performance exposure that lets people know where they stand and helps to both motivate and manage to higher levels of performance. Employees tell us they want their bosses to review progress regularly, give praise where it’s due, and coach for improvement when needed. This is how you can lead teams of people toward high performance.
You will know you are on the right path when employees:
The Bottom Line
The most effective new managers set clear performance expectations. The most effective new managers consistently hold weekly or bi-weekly one-hour sessions with individual team members to review goals, discuss performance, address issues, and stay on the same page. Frequent feedback and attention from caring managers help employees stay focused, motivated and on target.
To learn more about how and when to manage employee performance, download The Top 5 Warning Signs That Your Performance Environment May Be in Trouble
4 Keys to Keeping Talent Up to Date
Why Employees Change Their Mind
We signed up with LSA early on–as their 22nd Member! Since then, our organization’s learning needs have increased and decreased and increased again with the changing times. The beauty of the LSA business model is its flexibility…when we needed to supplement our own internal resources, we used LSA services knowing that we could depend on the outstanding quality of the leadership development and management training programs they provide.
We engaged LSA to design and deliver a 6-month custom executive coaching program for a group of our key leaders. The focus of the program was to help a core group of senior leaders to leverage previous investments in management training, to ensure the engagement and retention of key employees, and to push critical strategic initiatives forward. Even with the high expectations of our senior people, LSA has completely exceeded our expectations. I would recommend them to anyone looking to create and implement a custom coaching methodology using proven tools to drive true change.
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We contacted LSA to help us with customized management development. LSA worked with me to identify a solution that would meet our exact needs. We decided to start at the top and ran the program for our executive team. It was such a great success that we hope to roll it out companywide. We look forward to a long-term partnership with LSA Global and their team of experts.
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Workforce Planning Bureau
Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.
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We value our relationship with LSA Global. We came to LSA because we wanted to improve overall behavioral based interviewing capabilities of our managers to increase the probability of both hiring top talent and future leaders. LSA designed a highly customized solution for our business and culture. We are currently rolling out this solution to our leaders. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource.
HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR
LSA helped us design and deliver a blended learning solution for our leaders to help drive our growth plans in a way that aligned with our specific culture and values. LSA understood our business, had deep expertise in the content areas, tailored the programs to fit our specific needs, and delivered great results. They constantly strive to deliver business impact and align their solutions with our business initiates, culture, and performance management systems. I highly recommend them to anyone looking to take their leaders to the next level.”
Beth A. Taylor
Vice President of Human Resources
The refreshing thing about LSA is that they focus on understanding our business situation and helping me succeed instead of selling a product. With over 150 experts, they are an invaluable resource that helps me deliver higher quality results faster. I recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their workforce.
VP of Human Resources
We consider LSA our true business partner in the areas of Learning and Organizational Development. From Strategic Planning to Presentation Skills and Management Training, they continue to provide excellent value and extremely high quality solutions – not just one time events. I recommend them to anyone looking to drive true business results.
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I highly recommend LSA Global to anyone who is looking to improve individual or organizational effectiveness through their top quality programs and broad range of expertise.
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LSA has become the gold standard in team building and management training at Genomic Health! I have a hard time finding facilitators that come close to their level of customization, expertise and experience.
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We have worked with LSA Global for our learning and development needs and have always had great success. They helped us recently with customized Management Workshops that we held for the second time. It was fantastic, and I would highly recommend LSA to anyone that is attempting to get immediate and impactful improvements.
HR Manager, BU Radiology Informatics
Hyperion has a commitment to lifelong learning. LSA helps us provide the right business sales training, management training programs, and leadership development programs at the right time to meet the needs of both individuals and departments. I especially appreciate their ability to listen to my needs and recommend the appropriate facilitators, solutions and content.
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