“No matter how fancy you make the process, the main thing that matters is the quality of the conversations you’re having with others.” – Betterworks.

 Effective performance management is accomplished by respectfully addressing people’s behaviour routinely and consistently, coaching them through challenges and holding them accountable for lapses in behaviour. It’s about identifying goals, fast-tracking careers and, in the process, improving people and the bottom line.  

Whenever you are not getting the results you want, it is likely that an important conversation either has not happened or has not been handled well. When the stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong. When conversations turn critical, people tend to follow one of two ineffective paths: they either speak directly and harshly to get the results they want but harm relationships, or they remain silent with the hope of protecting relationships only to sacrifice results.   

By learning how to speak and be heard (and encouraging others to do the same), you will bring the best ideas to the surface and make the highest-quality decisions, and ultimately impact the business through: 

  • Creating behaviour change with faster problem-solving, decision-making and conflict resolution 
  • Build high performance and culture based on trust and respect 
  • Improve dialogue and engagement to reach alignment and agreement on important matters 

These dialogue skills may not come naturally, but when learned, they amplify the ability to manage people and results. 

Performance Conversations 

When managers lack the skills to lead effective performance conversations, their engagement with the team becomes more reactive than proactive. This means employees only hear from their manager when they have done something that can’t be ignored. This can take a toll on employee confidence and motivation.  

 Meaningful conversations between managers and their employees are key to high performance and to driving individual and organisational results: ​ 

  • Run regular check-ins 
  • Set stretch goals that engage and inspire positive results 
  • Differentiate between high and low performers 
  • Deliver effective feedback

When performance management is done well, it inspires employees, drives performance improvements and leads to organisation-wide results. Frequent and informal check-ins are key to keeping employees aligned, motivated and on track.  

All leaders have an essential role in contributing to the effectiveness and success of their teams through setting goals, undertaking frequent check-ins and building performance through quality feedback conversations. ​ 

performance management