Implementing the Performance Management System

Training
To be successful in providing feedback, particular skills and knowledge are required. So is competency at exercising those skills! Good feedback is both enlightening and satisfying to the giver and recipient. It is not criticism, it is open discussion about behaviour.
Providing constructive feedback is challenging – often because of the anticipated or real reception of the recipient. It becomes even more difficult when the behaviour in question was illegal or very sub-standard work. It is at these times that it is crucial to remain:
Business College at International House
RTO Code: 91109 CRICOS 02623G
Level 1, 203 Clarence St, Sydney NSW 2000 | Floor 1, 237 Oxford St, Bondi Junction NSW 2022
3 Searcy St, Darwin NT 0800 | Level 6, 601 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
info@ihBC.edu.au| www.ihBC.edu.au
• Empathetic and understanding their point of view even if you are angry
• Considerate even though you must reprimand
• Positive about the potential and development of the recipient.
All team leaders and managers who are going to be giving and receiving performance feedback need to be competent for the task. If they are not yet competent, then they need training. There are many different means of training individuals to the required standard:
• Interactive training incorporating workshops and groups
• Use of CD-ROM training programs
• Supervised coaching and mentoring
• Role playing
• Face-to-face training.
Role plays, workshops, and work groups all provide opportunities for individuals to train and interact in simulated feedback situations. The training can also be a combined training program with the assistance of workplace trainers and assessors.
The training should include specific training around addressing performance gaps. Performance gaps are situations where outcomes are less than those stated in the strategic objectives, such as:
• Costs above budget
• Disruptive conflict
• External interference
• Failure to meet strategic and/or operational objectives
• Lost time disputes
• Low / high turnover of labour
• Productivity below budget
• Quality / workplace health and safety / environmental failure
• Work bans / go slow.
Business College at International House
RTO Code: 91109 CRICOS 02623G
Level 1, 203 Clarence St, Sydney NSW 2000 | Floor 1, 237 Oxford St, Bondi Junction NSW 2022
3 Searcy St, Darwin NT 0800 | Level 6, 601 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
info@ihBC.edu.au| www.ihBC.edu.au
Team leaders and managers will need training in:
• How to distinguish among the various levels of performers
• How to communicate about performance
• How to make pay decisions.
The training must involve teaching team leaders and managers to differentiate between satisfactory performance, excellent performance, and sub-standard performance. Team leaders and managers must understand that if they are going to tie pay to performance, they have to be accurate and honest in their performance evaluations. This is often achieved by asking them whether they feel it makes sense for someone who excels on the job to make more than someone who does not.
Team leaders and managers need to be able to gain the support of their subordinates to receive on-going feedback on their performance so they would know exactly where they needed to improve and there would be no surprises at the appraisal. They also need to know the process step-by-step to be able to implement and support their subordinates to comply and support.
In summary, consider these tips for success:
• Give team leaders and managers the tools they need to have tough conversations with employees
• Talk early and talk often
• Make clear to team members what they will be measured on
• Discuss how your pay plan will improve the organisation’s success.
Team leaders and managers will also require training in identifying performance gaps. A performance ‘gap’ is the difference between what is happening and what could / should be happening. This sort of training is essential to assist them in remaining objective during the interview and also ensure that ‘root causes’ are identified rather than convenient but irrelevant issues.
Identification training will usually involve teaching team leaders and managers to ask various questions, such as:
• Is the issue having a negative impact on the organisation?
• How do I know it’s an ‘issue’?
Business College at International House
RTO Code: 91109 CRICOS 02623G
Level 1, 203 Clarence St, Sydney NSW 2000 | Floor 1, 237 Oxford St, Bondi Junction NSW 2022
3 Searcy St, Darwin NT 0800 | Level 6, 601 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
info@ihBC.edu.au| www.ihBC.edu.au
• Who else sees this issue as a problem?
• How are business metrics impacted by this issue?
• What would happen if nothing was done about this issue?
• What will be the benefits to the company and/or the business unit if the issue is successfully addressed?
• Is the problem ‘leverage-able’ (can a significant improvement be made with minimum effort?)
• Describe what the situation should / could be if the issue were resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.
The answers will provide further information and encourage greater accuracy in diagnosing ‘gaps’. Other training could be developed around:

  1. The appropriate atmosphere to create at the interview
  2. Selecting the performance criteria to use
  3. What information is on hand or is needed to be collected before the discussion
  4. Steps to be followed when conducting the discussion
  5. Managing disagreements
  6. Evaluating the interviewer’s performance
    Monitoring Performance
    Monitoring is the systematic and continual process of collecting and analysing of information about a piece of work. There are several types of monitoring and it is done at different time intervals, such as, monthly, bimonthly, quarterly, or annually, to assess the progress, production, numbers, and quality. It also provides inputs or feedback where necessary.
    KPIs must be measured in the units or terms into which the targets were broken down at the planning stage. Measurement of actual performance means knowing what has happened and predicting what is likely to happen. This means that deviations, shortfalls, overruns, etc, are forecast well in advance, so that corrective actions are initiated to forestall adverse circumstances. In other words, measurement of performance should include the process.
    To effectively monitor, you will need to know:
    • What are the specific KPIs related to the activities to be monitored?
    Business College at International House
    RTO Code: 91109 CRICOS 02623G
    Level 1, 203 Clarence St, Sydney NSW 2000 | Floor 1, 237 Oxford St, Bondi Junction NSW 2022
    3 Searcy St, Darwin NT 0800 | Level 6, 601 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
    info@ihBC.edu.au| www.ihBC.edu.au
    • Which individuals and teams will be responsible in undertaking these activities?
    • When are these activities undertaken?
    • What problems may arise in connection with the activities?
    • What measures may be adopted to evaluate the KPIs?
    • How is the data stored, recorded, and retrieved?
    • What logistics should be kept in mind?
    • What resources will be required?
    • Who will provide these resources?
    • What mechanism would you require for networking with other organisations?
    • What targets and objectives will be achieved?
    • What kind of supervision and monitoring will be undertaken?
    When significant deviations are noticed from the KPIs, corrective actions need to be initiated. This is called an intervention. Intervention activities could include any of: coaching, counselling, discipline, giving praise, or recognition of good performance. These could also include training, more frequent supervision, increasing number of observations, and motivating participants, undertaking exercises, improving the quality of learning material, etc.
    Everyone involved in a process has a responsibility to participate in the monitoring. All should be encouraged to keep their eyes and ears open to detect examples of exceeding the expectations and where there may be problems. Therefore, everyone needs to clearly understand the monitoring of KPIs.
    The first need is the development of the tools for data collection. These tools will vary from situation to situation. Reviewing data collected for quality, production requirements, or other reasons may all be valuable in terms of individual performances.
    In the case of a team leader or manager monitoring their staff, the process of observation is important. There is a management style referred to as ‘management- by-walking-around’ which is exactly as it is described. Getting out from behind the desk and taking the time to walk and talk is an excellent way of gathering information. This can allow you to seize the moment when individuals are most receptive to growing their skill or skills that are lacking and limiting their performance.
    Checklists to establish activities and their timeframes, casual discussions with
    Business College at International House
    RTO Code: 91109 CRICOS 02623G
    Level 1, 203 Clarence St, Sydney NSW 2000 | Floor 1, 237 Oxford St, Bondi Junction NSW 2022
    3 Searcy St, Darwin NT 0800 | Level 6, 601 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
    info@ihBC.edu.au| www.ihBC.edu.au
    groups and individuals may all be helpful. Remember that information received from others may be biased so investigate further before acting on unsubstantiated input.
    Whatever method is selected for the monitoring, it must be regularly and consistently applied. This is essential to provide a baseline for performance, productivity, and quality.
    Managing ‘Gaps’
    Once the evaluation on the performance has been conducted, you will know whether the individual performing the task has exceeded, met, or is below the standard as detailed by the KPI. Regardless of the outcome, feedback must be given. It is important to stay focused and be regular when monitoring.
    Team leaders or managers must respond quickly and decisively with an intervention as soon as they become aware of a ‘gap’, whether over or under-achieving. If they want to see the behaviour repeated, they will reward the behaviour in some appropriate way. If they want to see the behaviour changed, then they will provide constructive feedback
    – information on which the individual involved can build a more solid performance.
    They must respond quickly because the longer they wait, in the case of a positive behaviour, the impact is lost. In the case of a negative behaviour, it will be harder to change the behaviour, and in some cases, the potential consequences could be very bad.
    Many organisations will have policies and procedures to cover situations of non- performance or excellence. Team leaders and managers must make themselves aware of such policies and procedures, and perform as instructed by them.
    However, if there are no such policies in place, intervention will still be necessary. The immediate superior of team leaders and managers may be called upon to support and work with their subordinates to ensure compliance.

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