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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Performance Management Part 3 (Developing Employees' Capabilty to Perform)

If you’ve been following this, you know that we are now on the third installment of my promised five-part performance management series. This time I am going to focus on the third element, Developing Employees Capability to Perform. If this is your first time, I suggest that you see my previous two articles to get you up to speed at what we are going to cover here.

For Part 1, Planning Employees' performance follow this link :

For Part 2, Monitoring Employees' performance, follow this link:

Going through these elements of performance management reminded me of just how holistic this thing is. Following this discipline put managers in good stead as far as delivering result is concerned. It also puts them in good stead as far as building people’s skills and hence, loyalty to them and the company.

Let me now talk about today’s topic.

I remember a terror teacher in college who proudly boasted to our class that she has very high standard and that we'll be very lucky to get an average grade from her(I'm sure you've encountered one or two of this type in college). Looking back, I realized how
funny that was. From performance management perspective, it's like saying I'm such a washed up teacher that the most I can do to help you is bring you to average performance. And that I am incapable of giving you high grades because I don't have what it takes!!!

Anyway, going back to our topic. A performance manager's role is to help employees perform better. The main indicator of a performance manager's role is the progress in the employees performance. Poor performance, appraisal after appraisal is "almost" synonymous to poor performance manager.

The next question then is what kinds of skills do performance managers need in order to be successful in developing employees capability to perform?

I suggest the following:

Training Management - Many managers fail to manage training in a sense that they send employees to training but fail to follow-through. I tell you, I’m almost gagging as I am saying this because I’ve it said too many times I’m about strangle myself! I believe that managers must learn the concept of training and understand their roles as managers in making sure that training is effective and learning is applied on the floor. You, if you are an HR or Training Manager or any type of manager how much do you and other managers in your organization appreciate your training responsibility? If you or they think that your responsibility for training your people ends at sending them to a seminar, then you got a lot of paradigm shifting to do. If you happen to hire people who are so self driven, so ambitious and so hungry for learning, they can learn so much from observing spiders and mosquitoes, then you are in luck, you don’t have to worry about training. If you happen to be managing people who are so averse to training, like so many people I know, then you better learn a thing or two about what to do before, during and after sending people to training. You should also know that making funds available for training doesn’t solve an employee’s performance problem.

Coaching - A lot of managers think they can coach simply because they can talk about performance with their staff. You, know this is so true, the many times that I’ve conducted a survey on managers’ skills, I’ve seen so many people rate themselves so highly on this only for me to find out later that they don’t know squat about coaching! There is a huge difference between driving a coaching activity by the seat of your pants and using learned techniques/methodologies on coaching that are doable and repeatable and helps guarantee an improved result. My recommendation, learn some. There plenty of training providers on this skill out there including my self J.

Implementation of a mentoring program - I find mentoring program as a very good way to improve the performance of those who are not performing very well and a way to enhance the performance of those who are already doing very well especially in the area of leadership.

My suggestion is for you to explore on these three items and see how you can put a system in place in your organization that will empower managers to manage training, knowledge and skills, coach and implement a mentoring program.

An honest to goodness training in order to develop these skills is necessary. I'm sure you can find a good program that will address these needs. If you can't find anything, you can ask me (wink,wink) hehehe.

In summary, if the performance manager does a good job planning the employee's performance, is able to monitor performance properly to see how else the performance can improve, provide training, coaching and mentoring to help the employee achieve his/her full potentials, then the "Performance Appraisal" which is our next topic is almost a done deal!
Also, please see

See you next post!

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