Managing Performance Checklist

Managing Performance Checklist

How do we manage performance?

After knowing the factors that influence poor performance, the next thing we need to know is how to properly manage the performance of our team. The following four areas can be used as a checklist for you work out what you need to work on first.

  • Clearly define the expectations.
  • Communication
  • Being present.
  • Recognition and reward.

Let’s take a look at defining the expectations clearly. This is by far the biggest issue that I have experienced in my consulting and coaching time. People simply don’t know what’s expected of them enough.
Have you clearly defined these expectations and is it more than just a KPI? It’s also more than what’s in a job description. This is about what you expect from your team in relation to your culture, behaviour and attitudes. Sometimes we skip over the biggest things because we just assume that the person knows things like coming to work on time, and taking breaks. But if you haven’t set those expectations, as simple as they seem, how can you call them out on it?

We must learn to stop assuming and start to set clear expectations in all areas of work.

The second on the checklist is communication. How do you both like to be communicated with? You’ll find the answer tot this question by observing others and the way they communicate. Do they pick up the phone and chat, or do they send an email? Are they quite formal or casual? Which ones do you prefer?
By understanding the differences in communication styles, you can already see the best way to manage someone’s performance, and to clearly communicate with them.

The third is being present and consistently checking in. This is a big one, and it actually can work against you, depending on the person that you’re checking in with. If you don’t consistently check in with someone and make it a regular occurrence, then chances are, you’re going to go three months, and you haven’t had a conversation about performance. If you get on top of it as it happens, then you can stop it from escalating. Your focus during these conversations should be around helping, removing obstacles and serving them so they can get the job done.
However, be warned, for the wrong person, this can come across as micromanaging. So the lesson is to know your people, how they like to be managed, and communicated with.

The last one is recognition and rewards. It’s really a sliding slope to performance management if somebody only ever gets told what they’re doing wrong, and they never get told what they’re doing right – even for the small things.


This is the art of giving feedback, making sure it’s clear, it’s specific and more positive than negative. It also doesn’t have to be in a formal meeting, it can be simply walking past someone and saying “I heard you on the phone just now talking to that customer. And I want to say that was really awesome. You were polite, friendly and gave them the answers to all of their questions, and you checked in to make sure there was nothing else at the end”. It can be as simple as that. I also used to leave notes for my team, telling them one thing that I appreciate about them. It’s personal to each of them, and it’s meaningful. That meant more to them than the extrinsic rewards offered by the company (which are also good to use on combination).

How have these 4 pillars of managing performance helped you? Would you add anything else here? Comment below!

Managing Poor Performance

Managing Poor Performance

What factors influence poor performance?

Poor performance is an outcome of a myriad of different inputs. We also need to watch our own biases when it comes to performance, and what we deem to be ‘poor’. If you don’t have set outcomes, or expectations for behaviours and standards of work, then managing poor performance will be a challenge for you.

Here are some of the factors that influence poor performance.

  • A person’s abilities, and their training.

    Do they have the right ability to do the job? Have they had the right training? Try not to assume, spend the time asking the person if they feel they have had the right training.

  • Procedures.

    Are your procedures getting in the way? Is it just that the person is unable to follow those procedures? Are they clear enough? Have they been explained? Do they have easy access to these procedures? And sometimes, if we find things that are hidden, deep down in the intranet 10 million miles away, it’s really hard to find them when you need them. So some people just don’t even bother. Make sure you check that your procedures are helpful, not a hindrance.

  • External Influences

    We need to understand that we bring our whole selves to work. If someone is not normally a poor performer, but you’ve started to notice that things are being missed, or their performance is slipping, have a think about what else might be happening for them outside work, and how you might possibly be able to help them.

  • Not Using strengths.

    Are we using this person’s strengths to the full ability? If 90% of the work they’re doing is not related to their strengths, they are likely to be unfulfilled. They won’t be a happy camper. They aren’t engaged, and end up not caring about the work. They become a 9-5 person.

  • Lack of recognition.

    Are they just not being recognised enough? You know that saying, we always get told what we’re doing wrong, we never get to what we’re doing right? Has that actually happened without you even being aware of that? And rather than saying “good job”, try to give specific praise as often as you can.

  • No clear expectations.

    Another big one is not having clear expectations. This is when somebody doesn’t really know exactly what’s required of them. If you haven’t nailed down the very clear expectations on what success in that task might look like, or what it looks like when it’s done to your standards, then chances are, you’re going to look at it and it and say, “Oh, they’re not performing very well.” But ultimately, they just don’t know what your expectations are.

  • Wrong job.

    Are they simply in the wrong job? It might be time to have an in-depth conversation about where their career is going, and what they are getting out of the job. It’s ok if you both work out it’s not right. You might want to help them find something else, but at the end of the day, you need to manage the poor performance. Just because it might be the wrong job, doesn’t excuse a lack of performance. If someone is being paid to do a job, you need to make sure that the job actually gets done.

    Next time someone isn’t quite performing their best, take a minute to think through some of these causes and prepare yourself for a conversation with them about it.

GROW for Managers

GROW for Managers

This video focuses on the GROW coaching model, and gives 3 different scenarios in which to use it. If you’ve ever wondered how to use the formal coaching model in an informal scenario, this is the video to watch. 

We go over how to use coaching for the ‘Got a minute’ questions -to help people start to think for themselves, and find their own answers. 

We talk about how to use the GROW coaching model for individual development – how to create a personal development plan for your team. 

And I show you how you can coach someone to increase performance.