Performance Management: How To Do It Right

Sections of this topic

    As a manager, it is your job to ensure that the work gets done right, on time and on budget. If not, then you must correct the situation first coaching and then with discipline.

    That may seem to you a time-consuming, unpleasant task but it’s part of your responsibility as a manager. If you don’t, it sends a definite message to your good workers that poor performance is acceptable. Is that what you want? Here are some common mistakes managers make in performance management particularly in dealing with poor or unacceptable performance.

    1. Ignore the problem thinking it will get better.
    You are counting on peer pressure to correct sub-stand performance. This rarely works and the staff grumbles about the ineffective way the issue is being dealt with.
    2. Have a group meeting.
    Instead of dealing directly with the problem employee, a meeting of the work group is held and standards of performance are repeated with the hope that the problem employee will get the hint. This is a waste of time for your “A” players and the person rarely gets the hint.
    3. Transfer the poor performer.
    When the person applies for a job in another department, you gives the employee rave reviews about this work performance. When the transfer is made, one supervisor gives a sigh of relief and the other just sighs.
    4. Delegate it.
    You give the task of dealing with the poor performer to a team member. This is not fair to the “good” employee because it is not that person’s responsibility…it’s yours. Nor is it fair to the problem employee because he or she may resent getting disciplined by a fellow team member.

    Here’s the right thing to do:
    Make sure every position has specific requirements and if possible measurable standards. Then, when an employee is not meeting the requirements, deal with it immediately.

    Here’s an example: A shipping clerk is required to process 25 shipments per day. If the employee is only processing 20 a day, the standard is not being met. You first review the job requirements. You then ask about what is preventing the person from meeting these requirements. Is additional training or resources needed? Finally together you and the person agree on a solutiion – what needs to be done to meet the job standards.

    Management Success Tip:

    Here are the five “T’s of effective performance management with a poor or marginal performer. 1. Target: Does the person know what’s expected? 2. Tools: Does he have the right equipment? 3. Training: Does he know how to do it? 4. Timing: Does he know when to start and finish? 5. Truth: Does he know why it is important? How well do you follow these when managing the performance of your people?

    Do you want to develop your Management Smarts?