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Performance Management Performance Management Cycle

Implementing FCAT-M Performance Management Competencies:
Performance Coaching and Feedback

The Federal Competency Assessment Tool - Management (FCAT- M) assesses whether, and to what degree, supervisors have specific competencies. One of these competencies is Performance Coaching and Feedback, which helps managers and executives support a high-performance culture. The purposes of performance coaching and feedback are to help managers improve the productivity of their employees, to develop and improve an employee's capability to perform and to correct poor performance. The relationship between managers and their employees is initiated by performance-related conversations that are continued through the duration of the working partnership. Effective application of performance coaching and feedback will result in better achievement of agency strategic goals, as well as professional growth for both managers and employees.

Performance Coaching

Coaching, in its simplest form, means to train, tutor or give instruction. It is an excellent skill that can be used to enhance growth and performance, as well as promote individual responsibility and accountability. Performance coaching is an ongoing process which helps build and maintain effective employee and supervisory relationships. Performance coaching can help identify an employee's growth, as well as help plan and develop new skills. Using their coaching skills, supervisors evaluate and address the developmental needs of their employees and help them select diverse experiences to gain necessary skills. Supervisors and employees can work collaboratively on developing plans that might include training, new assignments, job enrichment, self-study, or work details.

There are many types of coaching elements that provide a framework of the coaching process. The following are examples of elements from the Idaho Division of Human Resources that are essential when it comes to performance coaching:

  • Building Trust - Trust is key to coaching. The supervisor and employee relationship must have some level of trust for coaching to work. A mutual interest in the success of the other is critical. Trust can begin to develop through open, honest feedback and respect.
  • Defining the Issues - The supervisor/manager should seek information from the employee to better understand the issue or performance in question. The emphasis is not on proving who is right or wrong, but on gathering information in a non-judgmental manner.
  • Coaching for Success - Taking employees from compliance to commitment can be difficult. Finding or creating that factor means sometimes helping the employee get in touch with what matters to him/her - what are his/her internal goals. Sometimes this is best achieved through the use of open-ended questions leading to the employee's self discovery.
  • Creating a Plan of Action - For the purpose of buy-in and commitment, the supervisor and the employee should jointly create an action plan. The plan should include performance goals that are simple, measurable and attainable.

Feedback

Feedback is the primary tool used to provide employees with information and guidance. Feedback consists of two-way communication.

  • Employee feedback provides managers with clues regarding how they are hindering or aiding their subordinates' work performance.

  • Supervisory feedback should inform, enlighten, and suggest improvements to employees regarding their performance. Supervisors should describe specific results they have observed as close to the event as possible so ideas stay fresh and any needed adjustments can be made in a timely manner. Successful supervisors develop a routine that includes frequent, in-depth discussions about performance with employees. The routine should remain informal and the discussions should focus on how both the employee and supervisor view the employee's performance and development.

The following are three main points about feedback from the November 2006 HR Magazine article, Feedback, Not Appraisal, by Christopher D. Lee, as they relate to performance management:

  • Share - When managers share enough accurate information with employees about the quality and quantity of their work, employees are more likely to fully understand what is needed to continue good performance, correct poor performance or improve mediocre performance.
  • Seek - Supervisors who actively solicit feedback from their subordinates discover obstacles to their success and are able to remove them in a timely fashion.
  • Continue - Periodic feedback sessions give the manager and employee multiple opportunities to calibrate and recalibrate their joint efforts. Continuous feedback is required for increased productivity and successful partnerships.

Implementing FCAT-M Performance Management Competencies:

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