Course Outcomes

This performance management skills course will:

  • Define performance management and offer several examples of how a good performance management system can improve an organization’s results.
  • Outline the importance of connecting an employee’s daily tasks to an organization’s mission, vision, values, and business goals.
  • Explain the difference between a performance appraisal and performance management.
  • Highlight how performance management focuses on both easily quantifiable skills and those activities that are important but harder to objectively measure.
  • Review the routine activities managers perform within a well-designed performance management process.
  • Explore employee ranking systems and tactics for managing rank inflation.
  • Discuss strategies for managing overperformers, underperformers, and those in the middle.

Course Overview

For a fruitful harvest,  farmers work on a host of activities throughout the year. These people know that good management is a process, not an event. If they fail to put seeds in the right place, water when needed, fertilize, or weed, they will not get a good crop. Regardless of the organization, good management is good management.  It follows a planned process and occurs on a regular basis, not once a year. This performance management workshop covers the skills managers need to drive continuous improvement and grow people’s abilities. The program marries theory with practical skills. During this course, participants will discover how they are an integral part of a strong performance management system and what they must do on a daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis as part of their responsibilities in the performance management process.

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Explain their role in performance management.
  • Describe the importance of identifying competencies employees should exhibit for various roles in an organization.
  • Communicate expectations.
  • Create a performance agreement and hold an agreement conversation.
  • Manage in such a way that they coach, recognize, and reward qualities that are not easily quantifiable.
  • Perform daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly tasks associated with good management.
  • Explain various methods for ranking employees.
  • Address the problem of rank consistency across an organization and rank inflation.
  • Create a specific plan for managing underperformers, overperformers, and employees who fall somewhere in the middle.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

Knowing What You Want: Defining Expectations and How They Fit

This course begins with an overview of performance management and the role management has in the process. Following that discussion, we will explore the importance of identifying the competencies required of each position in an organization and how those responsibilities are connected to strategic and tactical objectives.

Communicating What’s Expected: Agreeing to a Plan

You can’t get to the right destination if it hasn’t been defined or you don’t know where it is.  Too often people understand the work they do, but they don’t know why they do it. This part of the program explores the importance of helping employees make connections between their work and the mission, vision, values, and direction a company pursues. This workshop segment also covers the basics of performance agreements and the importance of holding regular conversations with employees about their development and performance.

Measures: It’s Got to Be the Going, not Only the Getting There That’s Good

While outcomes certainly matter, if growth, profit, or some other goal is achieved at the expense of people, the organization will eventually suffer. Annual appraisals and cumbersome appraisal systems tend to focus exclusively or almost exclusively on end results and actions that can be quantified. Performance measurement, on the other hand, focuses on values and behaviors in addition to quantifiable objectives and outcomes. In this part of the program, we’ll look at how to manage qualities that are less easily measured but enormously important for the sustainability of the organization.

Day By Day: Managing Performance Throughout the Year

Conventional performance appraisals tend to occur annually. Managers scramble to complete forms and hold awkward and often one-sided review meetings.  For many employees, this is the only time their manager speaks to them about goals, objectives, and whether they’ve done a good job. This is not performance management. Performance management is an ongoing process. In this part of the workshop, we will look at the daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly actions managers can and should take between annual reviews. Depending on the participants’ needs, this segment may include practice segments where we discuss and practice conducting accountability meetings, development meetings, coaching sessions, and other routine interactions.

Racking, Stacking, and Rating: Deciding How to Evaluate

In most organizations, ratings are part of how employees are evaluated. Unfortunately, getting ratings right can be a challenge. In this part of the workshop, we will look at different ranking systems, methods for being consistent from manager to manager, and how to manage rank inflation issues without demotivating those being evaluated.

Managing Underperformers, Overperformers, and Those in the Middle

Most managers find that their direct reports fall into one of three categories: underperformers, overperformers, and those in the middle. Most also discover that underperformers take up an inordinate amount of time. In this seminar segment, we will look at the problem of underperformance and the specific steps managers can take to address a problem. Following that discussion, we will consider the challenge of overperformance and the task of keeping high-achieving employees engaged. Finally, we will turn our attention to the task of managing the largest and often most ignored group, the people in the middle. They’re not performing at the top, and they’re not at the bottom. With the right guidance, they will deliver solid work. Our last discussion of the day will focus on this group and the essential actions managers should take to get the most from them.

By the end of this course, participants should understand performance management and the daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual actions they can take to drive continuous improvement, employee buy-in, and behaviors that mirror the organization’s values and goals.