Managing performance involves removing the obstacles to better performance so employees can meet both their own objectives as well as the organization’s.
Obstacles to employee performance can be found both within the employee and in the work environment. An effective supervisor is aware of, and manages, obstacles in both areas. Managing performance, like the other skills effective team leaders need, is a daily task that requires the supervisor to remain aware of each individual employee.
A large part of managing performance involves the continual coaching of employees to achieve their potential. Coaching begins with looking to the future and deciding what level of performance can reasonably be expected of an employee. Beyond teaching employees how to perform, the supervisor should work to instill in them self-confidence in their ability to perform.
Whether handling a performance problem or coaching an employee to better performance, the key is to set expectations for performance that both the supervisor and the employee understand. A supervisor must tell people what he or she expects of them. Without this knowledge, the employee will flounder. Simple as this sounds, it is often disregarded when discussing the details of how to perform a job.
Keeping employees involved in reviewing and tracking their own performance will increase their commitment to improvement. In addition, self-feedback, in which an employee assesses him- or herself and corrects his or her own behavior, is the most efficient way to manage performance.
The supervisor is bound to encounter performance problems. When this happens, the best the supervisor can do is to maintain a voice of reason and calm. Once again, taking the perspective of the organization, and encouraging employees to do the same, will focus discussion of performance issues on what is really important.
In our next blog, we will dig into the fourth of five key skills effective supervisors need to develop: Managing Relations.
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