Performance Management – Managers need to be role models

September 16th, 2010 by Martin Smith Leave a reply »

Performance Management - Managers need to be role models

I caught up with my friend the other day, the one who told me of the new team leader who had got off to a shaky start with her team (See my previous blogs post: A New Manager). Well, it transpires that this new team leader is also not that understanding when it comes to Performance Management either. It seems that she still has some way to go in her development as a manager!



“Be the change you want to see….”


Now, in my experience, all leaders and managers, but especially senior ones should ‘be’ what they expect their staff to ‘be’. In other words they should be role models of the behaviour and skills that they want their staff to demonstrate and use. Now, presumably the performance of your staff and company are interlinked (they have been in all the organisations that I have worked in) and thus there is an intrinsic need to achieve the best performance that you can from your team. It follows therefore that if you want your managers to support and improve their staff performance, you should be using and demonstrating that same behaviour when you work with them.



We live in an increasingly demanding world, where time is rapidly becoming one of the most valuable commodities. Leaders, managers and staff are having to make decisions about what gets done and what does not. If getting the best performance from your staff is important, then performance management needs to be something that your staff are measured against. I would recommend that it is included in everyone’s objectives, not just leaders and managers, but the whole team or organisation.

Ultimately, in this busy World, people do what gets measured, if it doesn’t get measured, it’s unlikely that it will get done. Can you afford for this to be the case for your team?

Here are some guidelines that you might find useful when thinking about performance management in your team;

  • Be the example: All leaders and managers, but especially senior ones should be role models. Therefore if you want your managers to support and improve their staff performance, you need to be modelling that behaviour with them first – otherwise, where is the knowledge or incentive to do something differently for others. Set them an example to follow! It can be a simple cascade process. “Do unto others as you would have done to you”
  • Include Performance Management in everyone’s objectives: If you want to make Performance Improvement come alive in your organisation make sure that it’s written into everyone’s Objectives and actively followed up, particularly with leaders and managers as the rest of the team will be watching what happens with them.
  • It doesn’t have to take long: Just ensure it happens regularly! Even ten minutes spent on some simple development techniques up front with your team can save you so much more time later on – You will actually save time by being proactive rather than reactive.
  • Praise brings real benefits: Help your managers understand the benefits of praise and regular feedback on performance. Instead of finding fault look for the things they are doing right and well and tell them about it, give them praise. The rise in confidence and morale will boost performance on its own.
  • Regular Feedback brings results: The more that you give timely feedback and coaching to your leaders and managers the more likely they are to do the same for their teams. Regular feedback helps people to understand what they are getting right and the areas where they need to improve. In time people will start to improve the things they do without being told, in which case you can then ‘reward’ them with praise and recognition.
  • Team Meetings and briefings improve team working: If done well team meetings and briefings will energise and help your team to achieve their goals and tasks. They can provide a real opportunity to share learning, problems, future activities and feedback between the group. A good leader will use these opportunities to give recognition where it’s due and offer support and guidance where it’s necessary. Try having a quick 5 minute ‘chat’ at the start of each day to get everyone in a positive frame of mind and understand the key tasks for the day. Alternatively have a meeting at the start of the week to look back at the achievements of the week gone by and prepare the team for the challenges ahead.
  • Use  a ‘Coaching Style’: Adopt a coaching style when working with your leaders, helping them to explore the options and find the answers for themselves which will help them to develop and grow. It may take a little longer at the start but it will ultimately pay dividends, with your managers and staff feeling more confident and empowered in their abilities to make good decisions for themselves.
  •  Monitor performance: Both formally and informally, offer coaching and guidance where appropriate, keep up to date with how your team are doing on their key projects/tasks and activities. Find out what their problems are and what support they need from you to help them resolve them.
  • Keep an eye on the Future: Performance management is a great way to identify tomorrow’s managers and future leaders. They are possibly the future of your company so you need to ensure that talent is being developed with the right skills and opportunities.
  • Don’t forget: To ask for feedback for yourself. How are you doing as a leader, what could you be doing differently to help the team?


Martin Smith Learning and Development Ltd is a specialist consultancy working with leaders at all levels to improve their relationships with the people that they interact with both internally and externally to the company. We work with organisations, teams and individuals to identify how they can get the best from their people. We have experience spanning diverse industries and encompassing sectors such as engineering, design, customer service, finance, supply chain, sales and procurement.


To discuss how Martin Smith Learning and Development Ltd can help you and your business please contact us;


Phone; 07702110676,      Email; [email protected]     Web;


Leave a Reply