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Skills required for efficient performance Management :

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Getting the best performance from your team calls for a unique blend of skills including:

  • Delivering feedback. The ability to give feedback is a key skill. It is important to find a balance between positive and negative feedback. Remember to keep negative feedback factual (based on your direct observations wherever possible) and non-judgmental, focusing on what the individual can do to improve.
  • Giving praise. Recognition for a job well done is a powerful motivator, which helps keep your team engaged and performing well. You should aim to give a mixture of formal and informal praise, which can be verbal (thanking your team at a meeting) or written (an email or a card).
  • Asking the right questions. Being able to ask appropriate questions is central to effective performance discussions. Using a range of questioning techniques (open and probing questions) will encourage your team members to open up, and allow you to discuss performance issues in a constructive way.
  • Listening. For performance management processes to be effective, two-way communication and understanding is essential. Employees need to be able to voice their views and concerns with you, therefore the ability to listen and focus on what your team members are saying will help you focus on their needs.
  • Identifying areas for development. To help your team develop, you need to be able to find appropriate new challenges which will stretch their skills and help them to grow. You should hold regular development discussions with each team member to seek their input on possible development areas. It is important to strike the right balance between broadening their horizons and providing adequate support and guidance when it is needed.
  • Recognizing learning and development opportunities. Employees often become demotivated and disengaged by a lack of learning and development opportunities. You should aim to discuss and agree upon a range of development options with your team, which can be tailored to suit their needs. Opportunities might include shadowing more experienced colleagues, undertaking a new project or attending a formal training course.
  • Setting performance objectives. A key aspect of the performance review process is the establishment of clear, achievable objectives or performance targets. You may find it helpful to use SMART objectives, which link individual goals to your department’s goals and wider organisational objectives.
  • Demonstrating positive behaviors. As a manager, you should aim to establish a positive ‘performance’ culture, where individuals take responsibility for their own performance. Your team members will take their cue from how you behave, so an awareness of the impact of your behavior on others and an ability to identify and demonstrate positive behaviors is essential.

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