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iManage, Issue #005 -- 3 steps to managing employee performance
December 05, 2009


Are Your Employees Reaching Their Potential? Three Steps to Managing Employee Performance

When people start a new job, they generally want to give their best. They are excited at the prospect of meeting new colleagues and learning new skills. They want to make a difference and they want to feel appreciated for that.

Yet so often, employee expectations aren't met. And within a short space of time, they start to feel unfulfilled, unhappy and may even start to look elsewhere.

As a manager, it is your responsibility to protect that enthusiasm and desire to do a good job in both new and existing employees. Here are three steps to managing performance so that your employees stay enthused for years to come.

Step 1: Create Learning and Development Paths for Each Employee

When an employee starts work in your business, provide them with some structured training, so that they are not left to sink or swim. Give them lots of support and encouragement, especially in the early stages.

Your employees all bring different skills, knowledge and attributes to the workplace. They have different needs, so build individual plans for learning and development. Help them see what career path is best to follow, if they are ambitious. Sending people on training courses is not the only way to develop them; consider distance learning, project work, short term transfers to other departments and so on.

Step 2: Mentor and Coach on a Regular Basis

Most new employees see their manager as a mentor. They look to him or her for advice and instruction. They need answers to learn and get things done. As your employee becomes more established in a business, know when to switch into more of a coaching role.

When coaching, allow an employee decide his or her own goals within given constraints. He or she decides how these goals are going to be achieved. You help them figure out the available options and how they might deal with any roadblocks along the way. Your role as a coach is primarily one of support and encouragement.

Whether you are in a coaching or mentoring role, make sure that you give your employee the time, support and feedback they need to learn and develop in the business.

Step 3: Complete Performance Appraisal Interviews

At least once a year, take time out from the day to day work schedule to talk to your employee on a more formal basis. The appraisal interview normally covers three areas: progress against goals for the previous year; new goals for the coming year and a learning and development review.

Give your employee time to prepare so that you can have a genuine two way discussion. Use the interview as a rubber stamp on feedback given through the year. It's purpose is to take stock of progress, give positive feedback and ultimately motivate the employee to continue to perform at a high standard.

These steps take time, but they are a key investment in your business. The more attention you give to your employees (in a positive sense) the more productive and motivated they will be for years to come.

See my website for more details on employee appraisal and a sample performance appraisal form.

Ann Halloran

Practical management skills advice for business owners and managers. Get best practice tips on a wide range of topics such as time management, motivation, communication skills, presentation skills, performance appraisal and more.

Content based on 30 years management/consultancy experience gained in a wide range of business sectors.

P.S Download my Motivation and Performance Appraisal Audio Guide for more in-depth advice on motivation and performance appraisal in the workplace. to find out more on my website.

Comments? Ideas? Feedback? I would love to hear from you! Contact Me.

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