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Performance Management Performance Management Cycle

Implementing FCAT-M Performance Management Competencies:
Facilitating Performance

Facilitating Performance is a key competency for supervisors to master. This competency ultimately helps contribute to meeting and exceeding organizational goals and objectives. Facilitating Performance is described in OPM's Federal Competency Assessment Tool-Management (FCAT-M) as initiating and guiding the efforts of self and subordinates toward performance goals through ongoing support, removal of performance obstacles, managing consequences, and holding employees accountable.

Facilitating Performance starts with the supervisor engaging in career development discussions with his/her employees. These discussions help identify individual employee's strengths and weaknesses. Both supervisor and employee can now focus on closing the gaps by improving the agreed upon weaknesses and continuing to develop the strengths. This is the start of a continuous process of communicating with employees about their individual expectations, career development, and organizational goals.

The importance of supervisors communicating to employees throughout the performance appraisal cycle with clarity and ensuring mutual understanding was emphasized in Salary.com's 2006 Performance Review Survey. The survey showed significant gaps between employer and employee views on performance management. For example:

  • 82% of managers believe they provide clear goals to their employees prior to their formal performance review, but only 46% of employees say the same
  • 83% of employers say that they include the input of their employees in the review process but only 43 % of employees feel their input is valued and included
  • Nearly half of the 2,000 employees surveyed said their performance has at some time been reviewed against goals that were not previously communicated

These disconnects show poor communication between the supervisor and the employee. They also emphasize the importance of establishing clear goals that are understood by both supervisor and employee to ensure agreement and commitment.

Supervisors can help close developmental gaps by making a commitment to employee development and ensuring follow through. Employees will benefit from training and assignment opportunities that develop their skills and abilities.

Michael Simpson, Senior Consultant in organization practice at Watson Wyatt Worldwide in San Francisco stated, "When most people hear the words 'employee development,' they think of traditional classroom training. But that's too narrow a view. The greatest employee development comes from managers taking the time to develop employees through mentoring, assigning interesting projects, and identifying improvement areas." Supervisors develop employees by:

  • Ensuring employees have the skills at the level required to meet organizational goals
  • Helping employees improve performance
  • Ensuring opportunities for development are available to all employees
  • Ensuring work efforts contribute to improved organizational performance

Supervisors must also continue to develop themselves. Supervisors do not need to delay gaining and improving competencies because of lack of funds available for formal training. Competencies can be improved and mastered through opportunities in the workplace. Supervisors can volunteer to take part in special projects, add responsibility to their current job, mentor subordinates, and be mentored by experts in different disciplines. Training enhances both the supervisor's and employee's value to the organization.

It is a supervisor's responsibility to communicate with employees and ensure a shared understanding of what is expected, monitored and measured. Supervisors are held accountable for rigorous performance management of their employees. In doing so, they must manage consequences. Managing consequences are both rewarding employees for performance that exceeds expectations and addressing poor or unacceptable performance. Rewarding and correcting performance needs to be timely. Timeliness in rewarding ensures a direct tie to the accomplishment to encourage the same type of performance is repeated. Addressing poor or unacceptable performance as soon as possible helps make the employee aware of the problem so he can take immediate action to correct the problem.

You know a supervisor has mastered the Facilitating Performance competency when

  • The supervisor has created an environment where employees have the greatest opportunity to reach their full potential
  • Employees are trained and have the skills required for current and future positions
  • Employees are included in decision making affecting their job
  • Communication is taking place at the beginning, throughout and at the end of each appraisal cycle
  • Employees are recognized for a job well done
  • Employees are helped when falling below standard and held accountable for poor performance
  • Employee surveys confirm supervisors' competency is mastered
  • Employee goals are achieved
  • Organizational goals are achieved

Supervisors should be held accountable for managing and supervising employees; helping employees grow professionally and reaching their potential; and always recognizing employees for their work and accomplishments. Ongoing two-way communication helps to establish and maintain a positive supervisor-employee relationship that ultimately facilitates performance.

Implementing FCAT-M Performance Management Competencies:

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