Understanding Performance Management

Implementing FCAT-M Performance Management Competencies:

Federal Competency Assessment Tool – Management (FCAT- M) makes an assessment whether, and to what degree, supervisors have specific competencies. One such competency is Performance Coaching and Feedback.

Performance Coaching and Feedback

Performance Coaching and Feedback helps managers and executives to build a high-performance work culture and contributes to enhanced employee productivity. It helps employees to recognize and correct poor performance and improve their potential.

The performance-related conversations that are continued throughout the duration of the working partnership initiate the relationship between managers and their employees. By applying performance coaching and feedback techniques effectively, it becomes easier for organizations to reach their strategic goals. It very well contributes to the professional growth of managers as well as employees.

Performance Coaching

In simple terms, coaching means to train, tutor or give instruction. It is a brilliant skill which you can use to enhance growth and performance in the organization. It helps in promoting individual responsibility and accountability. Performance coaching is not a one-time event but an ongoing process. It builds and upholds effective employee participation and supervisory relationships. With performance coaching, you help identify an employee’s growth pattern and encourage them to develop their skills.

By making use of their coaching skills, supervisors evaluate and tackle the developmental needs of their employees and assist them in selecting diverse experiences to attain necessary skills. Supervisors and employees can collaborate to work on development plans that can include training, job enrichment, new assignments, and self-study or work details.

There are a few factors that put the base right for an effective coaching process. Here are examples of elements that are vital when it comes to performance coaching. They are from the Idaho Division of Human Resources:

  • Building Trust: Coaching cannot work without trust. In order to ensure effectiveness of coaching, the relationship between the supervisor and employee must have a good level of trust. A shared interest in the success of the other is vital. Trust can be developed through open and honest feedback and mutual respect.
  • Defining the Issues: The supervisor or manager should take inputs from employee regarding his/her performance. The objective is not to prove who is right or wrong, but to gather information in a non-judgmental manner.
  • Coaching for Success: It can be difficult to take employees from compliance to commitment. To make it happen, sometimes you need to help the employees realize and acknowledge their internal goals. For example, you can put forward open-ended questions that lead to the employee’s self- discovery.
  • Creating a Plan of Action: The supervisor and the employee should jointly create an action plan for the purpose of buy-in and commitment. There should be performance goals in the plan that is simple, measurable and achievable.


The main tool used to provide employees with information and guidance is feedback. It consists of two-way communication.

  • Employee Feedback: This kind of feedbackprovides managers with clues concerning how they are obstructing or helping the work performance of their subordinates.
  • Supervisory Feedback: This feedback informs, enlightens, and suggests improvements to employees about their performance. Specific results should be described by the supervisors which they have observed during a course of action. It will allow ideas to stay fresh and make any needed adjustments in a timely manner. Successful supervisors come up with a routine that includes frequent, in-depth talks about performance with employees. The routines are informal and the discussions should focus on how both the employee and supervisor perceive the employee’s performance and development.

Take a look at the three main points about feedback from the November 2006 HR Magazine article, Feedback, Not Appraisal, by Christopher D. Lee. They relate to performance management:

  • Share: Employees are more likely to fully realize what is needed to continue good performance, correct poor performance or improve mediocre performance when managers share enough accurate information with employees about the quality of their work as well as quantity.
  • Seek: Supervisors who actively ask for feedback from their subordinates find out obstacles to their success and are able to get rid of them in a timely fashion.
  • Continue: Periodic feedback sessions offer the manager and employee numerous opportunities to standardize and recalibrate their joint efforts. There should be continuous feedback to see increased productivity and successful partnerships.

Regardless of your title or position, performance coaching is effective for leaders at all levels who want to achieve optimal performance. It will provide you with that little extra encouragement that even leaders sometimes lack, while they pour their energies into guiding their employees’ journeys. As and when you are determined that you will benefit from a coaching relationship and have discovered a coach with whom you feel at ease, and your trip toward performance improvement will be immensely enhanced.

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