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Manage people performance

BSBMGT502B

Student Workbook

Student Workbook

BSBMGT502B Manage people performance


1st Edition 2009

Part of a suite of support materials for the

BSB07 Business Services Training Package

Acknowledgment
Innovation and Business Industry Skills Council (IBSA) would like to acknowledge
HASCOM Pty Ltd for their assistance with the development of this resource.

Writers: Andrea Wallace/Greg Darcy


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2009 Innovation and Business Industry Skills Council Ltd
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Published by: Innovation and Business


Industry Skills Council Ltd
Level 11
176 Wellington Pde
East Melbourne VIC 3002
Phone: +61 3 9815 7000
Fax: +61 3 9815 7001
e-mail: reception@ibsa.org.au
www.ibsa.org.au
ISBN: 978-1-921439-47-6
Stock code: MGT502BCL

First published: February 2009


Print version: 1.0
Release date: February 2009
Printed by: XL Colour Printing
28-32 Bruce St
Kensington VIC 3031

Table of Contents
Getting Started ...............................................................................................1
Introduction ....................................................................................................2
Section 1 Planning Performance Goals ....................................................3
What skills will you need? .......................................................................3
About Performance Management...........................................................3
Performance Management Systems ......................................................8
Your role as a performance manager.................................................. 11
Section summary .................................................................................. 15
Section checklist ................................................................................... 15
Section 2 Managing Performance........................................................... 16
What skills will you need? .................................................................... 16
Management tools ................................................................................ 16
What is coaching?................................................................................. 18
Coaching models................................................................................... 20
Communication skills............................................................................ 21
Behaviours and attitudes ..................................................................... 24
Other supports? .................................................................................... 25
Recording and analysing ...................................................................... 26
Section summary .................................................................................. 28
Section checklist ................................................................................... 28
Section 3 Reviewing Performance ......................................................... 29
What skills will you need? .................................................................... 29
Performance Appraisal Process........................................................... 29
Disciplinary process .............................................................................. 34
Termination process ............................................................................. 36
Section summary .................................................................................. 37
Section checklist ................................................................................... 37
Conclusion ................................................................................................... 38
Glossary ....................................................................................................... 39
Appendices .................................................................................................. 40
Appendix 1 Operational Plan template ............................................ 40
Appendix 2 Sample Performance Management Policy
Template.......................................................................................... 41
Appendix 3 Performance Management process ............................. 42
Appendix 4 Performance Management Plan template................... 43
BSBMGT502B Manage people performance
2009 Innovation & Business Industry Skills Council Ltd

Appendix 5 Performance Development Plan template................... 44


Appendix 5 Performance Development Plan template................... 44
Appendix 6 Coaching Session Listeners Evaluation sheet......... 45
Appendix 7 Coaching Session Coachs Self Reflection
template.......................................................................................... 46
Appendix 8 Coaching poorly performing employees Listeners
Checklist template .......................................................................... 47
Appendix 9 Coaching poorly performing employees
Coachs Self Reflection template................................................... 48
Appendix 10 Risk Analysis template and scoring criteria............... 49
Appendix 11 Meeting Notes.............................................................. 50
Appendix 12 Outcome of meeting.................................................... 51
Appendix 13 Stand down .................................................................. 52

BSBMGT502B Manage people performance


2009 Innovation & Business Industry Skills Council Ltd

Student Workbook

Getting Started

Getting Started
BSBMGT502B Manage people performance applies to people who need to
develop skills and knowledge for managing the performance of employees. The
unit has a strong focus on working with people, with a focus on techniques for
providing feedback and coaching staff.
Through this material, you will develop understanding and knowledge about
setting performance standards and goals with employees. It provides a practical
approach to conducting staff performance management through providing
feedback and coaching for improvement in performance.
This unit can be used in conjunction with BSBMGT515A Manage operational plan.
This workbook assumes that you have little or no experience in performance
management and follows these headings:
y

Section 1 Planning performance goals

Section 2 Managing performance

Section 3 Reviewing performance

BSBMGT502B Manage people performance


2009 Innovation & Business Industry Skills Council Ltd

Page 1 of 52

Introduction

Student Workbook

Introduction
At the completion of the 2008 Olympic Games, Australia stood 6th overall behind
China, USA, Russia, Great Britain and Germany.
When ranked by population, Australia falls somewhere around 50th in the world;
however, we are among the top nations in sports performance!
Can the same be said for our performance in the workplace? How is it that, as a
nation, we have such exceptional coaching and performance in one area, but we
dont emphasise the same approaches in our day-to-day work?
Managing performance is a significant responsibility of a manager or supervisor.
As Australians we place great emphasis on performance in sport. While the same
cant be said for performance in the workplace, the concepts are very similar.
Just like the coach of any sports team, as a manager you will need to find ways to
coach, motivate and guide your staff towards winning outcomes.

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Student Workbook

Section 1 Planning Performance Goals

Section 1 Planning Performance Goals


Before you start managing people performance, you need to know what your
performance goals are. In any organisation, planning must occur so that the
organisational goals can be identified and aligned to individual or work team
goals.
Scenario: Coaching a sports team
Greg has recently taken over coaching an under-16 footy team on the
weekends. Greg loves footy, but he is new to coaching and the team he has
taken over is in a bit of a mess at the moment.
They arent the top ranking team; in fact, they are probably middle-of-the-road.
There are a few performance issues on the team as well. The leading goal kicker
has been injured. A couple of players dont show up regularly, and one or two
players have stopped playing altogether. There seems to be a lot of infighting on
the ground as well.
The parents werent too impressed with the last coach. Under his leadership,
things went from bad to worse.
Greg has his work cut out for him and he just wants to know where to start to
address the problems in the team!

What skills will you need?


As a manager of peoples performance, you must be able to:

; understand the key concepts of performance management


; identify features of performance management systems
; understand your role as performance manager
About Performance Management
What is performance?
At the simplest level performance can be seen as delivering outputs on time,
within budget, and according to specification. Tovey and Uren (2006) suggest
performance relates to the carrying out of a work task, duty, or objective. It is
implied that it will be done to a satisfactory level. 1
By this definition performance includes:
y

inputs - the skills, knowledge and expertise of individuals to do their work

processes the behaviours individuals display while doing their work

outputs the final specific & measurable objectives

1 Tovey & Uren 2006, Managing Performance Improvement, Pearson Australia, p84.

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Section 1 Planning Performance Goals

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Some definitions of work performance include compliance to standards of


behaviour as well. Not only are they doing their job well but are they complying
with the workplace code of conduct and other applicable standards of behaviour.
Example: Joe meets deadlines but.
Joe works as a writer for a publishing company. He is one of the star performers
in the workplace. He always makes his deadlines, he always meets quality
requirements. The managers all agree that Joe is a great worker.
However, Joe has been using graphics from the Internet and not getting
permission. He knows that he shouldnt but when he is under pressure, he just
lets this slip by. In addition to knowing that its a violation of copyright laws, Joe
signed the workplace Code of Practice which forbids this behaviour. He also was
trained in the workplace procedure for obtaining copyright release.
Even though Joe is meeting his performance targets for quality and delivery, he
is not meeting other behavioural standards.
What are the dimensions of performance?
Some aspects of performance are not easy to measure they are called
performance dimensions. For this reason, managers and employees may also
need to discuss these aspects of performance. Some examples of common
performance dimensions include:
y
y
y
y
y
y
y

strong interpersonal and communication skills


customer service orientation
effective communication
valuing diversity
analysis and problem-solving
decision-making and results orientation
fostering a safe and secure environment

What is Performance Management?


Performance Management is the systematic management of employee
performance to achieve organisational goals. Goals can include:
y
y

task goals
behavioural goals

What is motivation?
What moves you? Have you given much thought to what motivates people to do
their jobs? Without motivation, people wouldnt perform at all. In order to manage
people it helps to understand what motivates them.
Unfortunately, the things that motivate people can be different, depending on a
range of factors including:
y
y
y
y

our age
our culture
our personality
our needs

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BSBMGT502B Manage people performance


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Student Workbook

Section 1 Planning Performance Goals

As a manager you need to get to know people and know what motivates them.
Learning activity: Motivation at work
What do you think are the main motivations that drive how people perform at
work? Using the list below, pick your three main motivators and rank them in
order from 13.
In groups of 2 or 3, add up your ranking for each of the motivating factors
shown in the list above. The motivating factor with the higher number reflects
your groups perception of peoples work motivations.
Do the groups results show that people are more motivated by personal
incentives or by a sense of contributing to the organisation? Discuss in class.

Motivating Factor

Ranking

Promotion and career advancement


Salary increase
Performance improvement
Contributing to the goals of the organisation
Mastering my job
Opportunities to build skills and knowledge through training and
development
Other (please specify)

Motivational Theories
What motivates you at work? Different people have different reasons for getting
up and going to work in the morning.
There are many theories that attempt; to explain motivation. Some of these are:
y
y
y
y
y
y

Maslows hierarchy of needs


theory X and Theory Y (McGregor)
Herzbergs 2 factor theory
force field theory (Lewin)
expectancy theory (Vroom)
goal theory (Locke)

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Section 1 Planning Performance Goals

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Learning activity: Research theories


Do some Internet research into one of the above theories of motivation.
Present your findings to your learning group at the next class session.
Based upon your own perception, select the one theory that you believe more
than any of the others reflects why people work.
Explain why you selected that theory.
What is the Performance Management process?
Performance management requires a continuous process of:
y

planning for performance setting performance goals, establishing


performance standards and setting performance expectations, identifying
developmental goals in work (action) plans

performance appraisal observing, documenting and assessing


performance

performance improvement providing regular feedback, review


performance appraisal, rewarding excellent performance2

Managing performance employs a plan manage review approach to


improving performance measures. As an ongoing process of review and
correction, it is a managers role to work closely with their employees to help them
achieve the goals they have set.

Aguinis, H. 2005, Performance Management, Pearson Education, p2.

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Section 1 Planning Performance Goals

Plan
y

review job descriptions, previous performance reports, and any relevant


awards or codes of conduct

create individual goals and objectives in consultation with the employee

ensure a shared understanding exists of the level of performance


expected, and how this will be monitored and measured

ensure goals are measurable and aligned to the organisations strategic


and operational plans

Manage
y

continually monitoring performance and measuring results

developing the employees performance through ongoing coaching &


feedback

providing regular appraisals to discuss progress towards achieving goals,


and providing an opportunity to modify or change goals

Review
y

conduct final performance appraisal

review performance results against set objectives

acknowledge and reward excellent performance

instigate measures to address poor performance

identify areas of improvement and possibilities for further training

Workplace Change
When performance management is introduced to a workplace, people can find it
very confronting. If you are at a workplace that is introducing formal performance
management for the first time, you will probably encounter comments like:
y

Why do we need performance management? No one has said anything


about my performance before.

You are just doing this because you want to get rid of staff.

What qualifies you to manage my performance? I have 20 years


experience.

This is just another management fad.

As a manager or supervisor in a workplace, you will need to be able to respond to


these types of comments.

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2009 Innovation & Business Industry Skills Council Ltd

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Section 1 Planning Performance Goals

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Learning activity: Workplace Change


Change can be confronting. Many people have a fear of the unknown. Can you
identify some of the concerns that employees will have about performance
management and address them before they become a problem?
Imagine that you are part of a team that is introducing performance
management to a workplace. Brainstorm with your learning group to:
1. identify three changes that you think might cause people concern or
difficulties
2. identify any concerns people might have about these changes
3. identify how you plan to address those concerns
When you are done, discuss the outcomes of this activity with your learning
group.

Change

Concerns

Action

Performance Management Systems


What is a Performance Management System?
Just like a sports team, if an organisation expects to perform well they must
manage their performance. The main goal of a Performance Management System
is to help raise employee performance and, in doing so, the productivity and
growth of the organisation.
Most people tend to think of uncomfortable meetings with their boss when they
think of how performance is managed. But appraisal meetings are only just one
part of such a system.
A complete Performance Management System needs managers to:
y

Link peoples performance goals in line with the goals and strategies of the
organisation.

Set the standards and levels of performance that are expected to be met.

Monitor peoples performance.

Work with the employee to improve or build their performance.

Identify any possible barriers that are limiting performance and remove
them.

Reward excellent performance and quickly address poor performance.

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BSBMGT502B Manage people performance


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Student Workbook

Section 1 Planning Performance Goals

A properly constructed Performance Management System includes documenting


any occurrences of performance problems, keeping notes on how the problems
were communicated to the employee, and then also making a record of what
steps were taken to remedy the situation.
Such evidence compiled through proper performance management can
potentially prevent costly legal battles that can occur if the process escalates into
formal arbitration proceedings.
Who is involved in Performance Management?
Managers can be responsible for managing the performance of individual or
teams of employees. While the focus is on the individual and how they can
improve, a number of other people can be involved in the formal process of
monitoring and setting the boundaries for how performance is being managed.
These may include:
y
y
y
y

your team
you, as a supervisor
human resource professional
union representatives

Relevant workplace documents


There are a number of documents that outline the tasks and responsibilities of
the employees jobs and the performance goals and measurements they are
expected to reach. Examples of these workplace documents are:
y
y
y
y
y
y

code of conduct
policies and procedures
job descriptions
industrial awards or workplace agreements
workplace induction information
performance management plan

Exercise: Code of Conduct


A Code of Conduct is a formal written policy that describes a set of rules about
how an organisations employees are expected to deal with each other and with
its customers. These serve as a public statement of the values of the
organisation, and are a visible guideline for employee behaviour. They act as a
reference for staff in their day-to-day decision making.
Quite often the rules of behaviour found within Codes of Conduct are linked to
the standards of professional conduct or Code of Ethics of a particular industry.
Internet research
Undertake some Internet research into the codes of conduct that apply to
different groups of employees and industries including:
y

employees in private organisations

accountants, architects, doctors and lawyers

public servants

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Are there any differences in the requirements for each of these groups? Is so,
what are the differences?
Select one code of conduct from those you have researched. Explain how you
would use the information from that code of conduct in a performance
management plan.
Relevant awards and legislation
y

workplace Relations Act (1996)

workplace Health and Safety Act (1995)

awards/Enterprise Bargaining Agreements/Union Collective Agreements

Example: Workplace Relations Act


May is a flight attendant for a major airline. Along with six other flight
attendants, May was shocked when the airline sacked her on the grounds of
being overweight.
The dismissal came soon after cabin crews were provided with company
standards for meeting minimum physical fitness requirements. The event was
widely reported in the press, and a company spokesperson said that the flight
attendants had been warned about standards and given sufficient time to lose
weight.
May and her colleagues lodged a claim of unfair dismissal under the Workplace
Relations Act.
A lawyer for the sacked cabin crew told reporters that the dismissals were not
only grossly unfair because the airline lacked sufficient evidence and had not
followed a due process by terminating their employment.
The claim is still waiting to be heard by the court.
Risk management plan
There can be risks associated with any type of change. Organisations often
prepare detailed risk management plans to identify possible risks that could
damage the organisation and the steps it would take to avoid such events
happening. Risk management involves the following stages of:
y

identifying the risk

assessing the severity of the risk

identifying factors which contribute to the risk

identifying alternative solutions

implementing alternative solutions

How does this affect performance?


Risk management can help to make sure that any potential barriers to
accomplishing performance goals are fully accounted for. This focus will help to
highlight any performance shortcomings so that individuals, or work units, remain
on track to achieving their goals.

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Student Workbook

Section 1 Planning Performance Goals

By closely monitoring performance, managers should have a number of


contingency plans help bring things back on track if any barriers to performance
emerge or performance is not progressing as planned.
Example: Risk Management
Richard manages a team of twelve employees. He recently started coaching his
team after he attended a HR workshop called Managing for Effective
Performance. Most of his staff have welcomed the new approach and are open
to discussing how they can improve in their roles. Two employees, John and
Emma, have actively resisted all his attempts to engage them in a conversation
about their work.
At the back of his mind Richard is well aware there is also a department shakeup going on. He needs to demonstrate tangible results of his teams
performance, and justify the number of staff he needs to meet the output
expected from his business unit. Richard knows that if he cant do this theres a
good chance that both his budget and staff numbers will be slashed and
allocated to other departments.
Both John and Emma have been with the company for a long time and know
their jobs inside and out. They are rich sources of knowledge that the other
team members look to for direction and answers about their work. Richard has
observed that John regularly takes longer lunch breaks and Emma spends a
great deal of her time sending text messages on her mobile phone.
Richard can see there are two major risks to not meeting his units KPIs. How
will he address the performance issues of his two main staff members and at
the same time keep the team together to start working more efficiently as a
unit?

Your role as a performance manager


Performance Management in the past
Old style managers used to think performance management was simply giving
their employees a yearly review. If they were doing a good job they might get their
annual bonus, if they werent, they were told to improve or start looking for a new
job.
Quite often managers often found themselves promoted due to their technical
expertise or knowledge of their industry. More often than not they had no formal
management training, poor communication skills, and a total lack of
understanding about how to manage and motivate people to do their jobs. Thrust
into the position, they thought managing performance meant forcing people to
work better or harder.

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2009 Innovation & Business Industry Skills Council Ltd

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Section 1 Planning Performance Goals

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Learning activity: Good boss/bad boss


Think back to the best boss you ever worked for. What personality traits, skills,
character habits, or supervisory techniques did he/she possess?
Now think back to the worst boss you ever had. What made him/her so bad?
List your responses for both the good and bad bosses. What are the main
differences that distinguish the two approaches? Was it their communication
style? Level of trust? Did they acknowledge your ideas? Perhaps it came down
to just plain manners and mutual respect?
What should managers do to encourage people to produce better results?
Performance Management now
When put into practice, performance management today relies on managers
having well developed interpersonal and counselling skills so that they can
engage with their staff in meaningful discussions about performance issues.
Performance management now is about a two-way and ongoing conversation
between managers and their employees. The communication process includes
clarifying expectations, setting goals, providing feedback, and evaluating results.
Through regular coaching and feedback, managers and employees work together
to discuss what is going well and acknowledge where additional efforts are
needed. Most importantly, a focus on performance should be more than just an
annual event and become an on-going process.
Core competencies of a good performance manager
Unlike the past, managers at all levels are now expected to plan their work. When
this involves managing the performance of other people, they are faced with some
basic questions:
y

What is the employee expected to achieve?

Are these goals practical and achievable?

How are results measured?

Does the employees work support the goals of the organisation?

To effectively manage these questions a good performance manager:


y

coaches

communicates

documents

clarifies

The position, or job, description should clearly describe the employees job
function, required skills and performance expectations.

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Section 1 Planning Performance Goals

A sample position description looks like this:


Example: Position Description
JOB TITLE:

Communication Officer

REPORTS TO: Group Manager

DATE: 4 March 2009


DEPT: Customer Relations

APPROVED BY:
MANAGERS SIGNATURE: ______________________
JOB SUMMARY
The role of Communication Officer provides timely and accurate information and advice
to customers, staff and other key stakeholders. There is a heavy focus on daily
operations, web and online communications.
REPORTING RELATIONSHIPS
The role works closely with the Group Manager to coordinate communication programs,
policies, and events designed to meet customer response targets and ensure customer
satisfaction.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES (in order of importance)
y

provide first tier support in person, on the phone, through e-mail

create Web pages and support documentation

update training materials and manuals

create and distribute information to all staff about HR campaigns and events

NON-ESSENTIAL DUTIES
y

provide assistance at tradeshows and supporting events

any other duties as required to support the office of the Group Manager

QUALIFICATIONS & EXPERIENCE


REQUIRED
y

formal qualifications in HTML and Web page development

excellent customer service skills

PREFERRED SKILLS
y

programming experience

self-motivated and shows initiative

REQUIRED LICENSES/CERTIFICATIONS
y

basic HTML programming

REQUIREMENTS (The physical, mental and environmental conditions of the Essential


Duties of the job)
y

computer-based work environment

Group Managers Signature: ___________________________ Date:________________

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Pitfalls
What happens when you dont do it?
When performance isnt being managed a number of things can tend to happen:
y

Employees feel a lack of recognition and acknowledgement for their work.

A lack of understanding can exist about how peoples job contributes to


the goals of the organisation.

There is confusion about peoples roles and responsibilities.

Employees either dont know, or dont understand, the performance


expectations and required standards of behaviour.

Managers feel they have to micro-manage their employees to get things


done.

Employees often keep repeating the same mistakes.

Poor performance is inconsistently acknowledged and addressed across


the organisation.

Individual or team targets are not met.

Small problems arent addressed early enough before becoming bigger


problems.

A culture of scape-goating or blaming exists when things go wrong, rather


than a culture of addressing the causes and looking for ways to improve.

There is a general lack of communication and disagreements are common.

The risk of possible damages and legal costs for both managers and the
organisation exists for not adequately managing their duty of care for their
employees.

Learning activity: Your communication skills


Communication/feedback skills are a key part of performance management.
Do a benchmarking activity.
Break into groups of three. The facilitator will give each group a scenario and
get them to provide feedback on poor performance.

employee

manager

observer

The observer must complete a survey


Swap around till everyone has turns once.
Trainees are to keep a journal throughout. This will form part of the assessment
for this unit of competency.

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Section 1 Planning Performance Goals

Section summary
You should now understand:
y

Building the motivation of people is the main focus of performance


management.

There are three stages in managing performance: planning, monitoring and


reviewing

The success of performance management systems stems on the skill level


of managers in defining objectives, measuring performance, coaching,
appraising, and motivating staff.

Section checklist
Before you proceed to the next section, make sure that you understand how to:

; understand the key concepts of performance management


; identify features of performance management systems
; understand your role as performance manager

BSBMGT502B Manage people performance


2009 Innovation & Business Industry Skills Council Ltd

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Section 2 Managing Performance

Student Workbook

Section 2 Managing Performance


Planning is a critical aspect of any successful team activity, whether it is in a
sporting context or in the workplace. However, it is one thing to create the plan
and set the goals, but quite another thing to implement the plan to achieve
success. Implementation of the plan involves people management.
Different people will respond to management approaches in different ways.
However, there are some general approaches that need to be applied in any
circumstance and require you, as the manager, to apply effective communication
skills and to respond the personal characteristics of individual team members.
Scenario: Let the coaching begin!
Lets think back to our footy team. In the previous section you examined goal
setting for the football team. Now everybody knows and agrees on what needs
to be done, Greg can get down to the task of coaching.
The main criticisms of Gregs predecessor were that he wasnt hands-on
enough and he didnt spend the time with the kids who needed coaching. The
former coach spent a lot of time working with the stars of the team and left the
rest.
Greg, on the other hand, is committed to being a visible coach and providing
extra coaching where its needed. After all, if the team is going to succeed,
everyone has to reach their full potential.
There are a lot of things that he needs to do in order to manage the players
performance well.
What sorts of things would you do if you were in Gregs position?

What skills will you need?


As a newly appointed team leader in your workplace, you must be able to:

; provide on-the-job coaching


; give feedback
; record outcomes of discussions
Management tools
Team meetings
It is the people within organisations who drive performance, and team meetings
are the ideal opportunity to get everyone on board. Team meetings help to create
strong working relationships in the team and people naturally feel more motivated
when their ideas and opinions are heard.

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BSBMGT502B Manage people performance


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Student Workbook

Section 2 Managing Performance

While managers should be coaching and motivating their teams towards making
their own decisions, its equally as important that they establish their leadership
role. Effective team leaders base their relationships with the team on trust and
loyalty.
Team building is an ongoing process that managers can support in a number of
ways:
y

ensure everyone is clear about roles and responsibilities

promote personal accountability

consider each persons ideas as valuable

celebrate the teams early successes

encourage a level of mutual trust and cooperation amongst the team

delegate problem-solving tasks to the team

identify techniques for resolving conflict

promote consensus and set ground rules for the team

create strong communication mechanisms

building a strong sense of accountability

create reward structures that recognise both team and individual


accomplishments

Graphs/charts
When managing peoples performance, managers face the double challenge of
guiding the employees towards taking a greater responsibility while still ensuring
that business objectives are being achieved.
Using a variety of visual aids to identify the teams results and demonstrate the
progress that has been made is a useful tool for managers. Graphs and charts
can be a simple, yet powerful way to display the tangible results and
improvements being made.
Coaching
Coaching is a partnership between a manager and an employee. Regular
coaching sessions are a powerful way to strengthen and expand the employee's
job performance.
When used effectively, coaching can help to increase the employees levels of
motivation and commitment, and so shape performance and increase the
likelihood that the employee's results will meet expectations.
Disciplining
If an employee is working at an unacceptable level, managers often have little
option but to discipline the employee.
In these situations its important to be specific and focus attention on the cause
of problem and not on personalities. Remember that the aim is to guide the
employee to improve their performance, or correct any inappropriate behaviour,
and not simply to punish them.

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Nonetheless, employees need to know that their current performance is not


meeting expectations and you are giving them a chance to improve. Reinforce
your performance expectations and get confirmation that the employee
understands those expectations.
Tip: Correcting performance issues
When a person is not performing to your expectations, try the following
approach:
When you ________________ (state the behaviour in question).
This is a problem because ________________ (identify the effect the problem
has on the organisation, the team and individuals).
Next time ________________ (specify how you expect them to act in the
future).
You may need to take more serious actions if the employee doesnt improve. The
disciplinary options range in terms of their severity:
y

oral warning

written warning

suspension without pay

reduction of pay

demotion to lesser duties

dismissal

What is coaching?
Work coaching
Workplace coaching is a collection of methods and techniques used by managers
and supervisors to help them to maintain or improve their employees work
performance.
What do we coach?
When we are talking about coaching peoples work performance, we are usually
talking about:
y

task goals include bottom line targets that are measured by KPIs
production goals, deadlines, quality standards

non-task goals include targets such as housekeeping, attendance at


important meetings, and participation in continuous improvement

behaviours include things like attitude towards workmates, personal


attire

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Who do we coach?
Traditionally, managing has involved controlling and directing the work of other
people. As a coach, however, the manager works with the employees to guide
them towards solving problems for themselves, rather than directing them to the
solution.
Generally, most performance problems can be resolved through effective
communication between managers and employees. Most employees can benefit
from coaching in some way. Coaching applies to any skill at any time. It is a simple
way to set, discuss, and monitor goals in a collaborative way.
How do we coach?
Good coaches challenge employees and ask questions that help the employee to
discover how to improve.
y

Coach when you wish to focus attention on any specific aspect of the
employee's performance.

A coaching meeting should focus on just one or two aspects of


performance. Any more than that and employees wont remember the
main impact of your meeting.

Keep coaching conversations brief and between 5 to 10 minutes long.

Being an effective coach requires understanding what motivates the


members of your team. Remember that people are motivated in different
ways. Be sensitive to the things that drive your people to perform.

When things are performing well, take the time to understand what is
working and why.

Good coaching is guiding, not telling or doing.

Allow the employee to own the problem and its solutions. Ask them: How
do you think we should handle this?

When do we coach?
Coaching is different to formal training. But how do you know when you should
step in, or let employees work through the problems for themselves?
y

Observe the employee's work and be alert for certain triggers or signs. For
example, you may notice an attitude or behaviour creeping in, or you
discover a slump in the weekly KPIs.

Coach when you want to focus attention on any specific aspect of the
employee's performance.

Dont hesitate do it now. Coaching is a process that is most effective


when it happens daily.

Be sure you document any key elements that come out of your coaching
sessions and store them in the employees file.

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Characteristics of good coaches


Good coaches:
y

understand employees jobs

are visible

lead by example

practice what they preach

are sincere and honest

make decisions on facts not feelings

dont procrastinate

listen more than talk

seek assistance when necessary

Example: The life of a workplace coach


Steve is a Department manager with a team of eight employees. He notices that
one of his staff members, Alex, seems to lack direction, displays low selfesteem, and has a number of performance issues (regularly shows up late for
work and takes more sick days that the other employees). Steve has tried a
number of things, but has had little or no success.
Steve spoke to Jill in HR who suggested he might try coaching Alex. Steve
approached Alex and asked if he wanted to try coaching. They both agreed it
was worth trying and they agreed to work together once a week over three
months.
The first thing Steve asked was for Alex to write a list of the things he was good
at and the things he wasn't good at. This gave them both a focus on the areas
they could work on to help him improve over the coaching and monitoring
period.
Six months later the improvements were noticeable. Alex is now the first one at
work every day and is being recognised as a motivated team member. Instead
of potentially losing a staff member, Steve has gained a valuable asset and is
now looking at more training to help Alex develop his career.

Coaching models
GROW
In the world of performance management, a number of different workplace
coaching models exist.
GROW is a simple but effective model for running coaching sessions. GROW is an
acronym that stands for: Goal Current Reality Options Will.

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Goal
Things can change, and the employees goals may need to be revisited and
reviewed.
Current Reality
Getting to the root cause of problems means asking the team member about what
is happening and how the problem is affecting them. Often managers can leap to
a conclusion about solving a performance problem. Important information that
can help to solve the problem is often missed.
Some useful coaching questions include:
y
y

How is this change affecting your work?


If things changed do we need to revisit how we planned to approach this?

Options
Once you and your team member have explored the Current Reality, it's time to
start exploring the alternatives for solving the problem. It should be a two-way
process, so encourage the team member for their ideas and views about what
might be done.
Ask questions like:
y
y
y
y
y

What other options have you considered for how we might handle this?
What are the alternatives?
How else could we approach this? What risks are involved?
What are the possible risks involved in these other options?
What constraints exist?

Will
By this stage you will have examined the Current Reality and canvassed the
options for what could be done. The team member should now have a clear idea
of how to deal with the situation. The final step for you as a coach is to get them
to commit to taking action.
y
y
y
y

So how will you take this forward?


How are you going to achieve this?
What obstacles could prevent this happening?
What else will you do?

Communication skills
If not handled well, employees can feel that any discussion about their
performance constitutes a personal attack on their abilities. Managers should be
able to support their employees learning and growth through an ongoing process
of mentoring, coaching and training.
Verbal or spoken communication tends to be the most preferred form of
communication for managers, as they can gauge the immediate feedback from
employees to see if their message has been understood. It is estimated that the
average manager or supervisor spends about 80 per cent of their time
communicating with other people.
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Learning to listen
Many people might not realize but listening is a skill. Often we dont hear clearly
because we filter other people's messages and already have preconceived
expectations of what they are going to say.
By repeating your understanding of what someone is saying back to the person,
you create the opportunity to confirm your understanding of what has been said.
This can be done in a number of ways:
y

Paraphrasing means restating the main points of what the speaker has
said back in your own words.

Reflecting someones feelings helps to acknowledge how the speaker is


feeling. You seem to be quite annoyed. This can often help to diffuse a
heated situation.

Reflecting meanings can determine the link between how someone is feeling and
what is causing them to feel that way. A common formula for reflecting meaning is
"You feel [emotion] because [event or content associated with feeling]. You
seem to feel pressured by the number of people making demands on you.
Providing a summary of the main themes and feelings the person has expressed
helps make them feel that their thoughts and feelings are being acknowledged. It
can be a useful technique to close the conversation once the speaker has
finished everything they have to say.
Tip: Running a coaching session
When you conduct a coaching session to improve performance, you can follow
this format:
y

state the specific problem or behaviour

explain why it is causing a problem

give the person being counselled the chance to respond

identify the probable causes of the problem

mutually agree on finding a solution to the problem

decide on specific actions should be taken to avoid the problem in the


future

specific actions to be taken are noted

Giving positive feedback


Giving effective feedback requires giving your perceptions and feelings in a
nonjudgmental manner to someone else so they can use the information to
examine their own behaviour.
Remember that setting performance goals is a collaborative process between the
employee and manager. When a specific problem occurs, or to you want to
reinforce desired behaviour, it is best to give the feedback as soon as possible
after the behaviour is demonstrated.

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Remember that all employees need regular positive and constructive feedback to
adjust and improve their performance. Positive feedback is best used when an
employee is doing well, and you are trying to reinforce and encourage a particular
behaviour or result from your employee.
The process for giving positive feedback is:
y

identify the specific behaviour

describe the behaviours positive impact

look for ways to build on the behaviour

encourage the employee to share his or her views

Learning activity: Role play positive feedback


You have some positive feedback for an employee, Alex (you might recall his
case from earlier in this section).
You are a Department manager with a team of eight employees. You have
noticed that one of your staff members, Alex, seemed to lack direction, display
low self-esteem, and has a number of performance issues (regularly showed up
late for work and took more sick days that the other employees).
Following a discussion with HR you provided some coaching to Alex. Six months
later the improvements are noticeable. Alex is now the first one at work every
day, and is being recognised as a motivated team member. Instead of
potentially losing a staff member, you have gained a valuable asset and are now
looking at more training to help the Alex develop his career.
You are required to provide Alex with positive feedback about his improved
performance and also commence working with him on developing a career path.
Undertake this activity in class and review your performance with your learning
group.
Giving constructive feedback
Performance issues should be identified and acted upon early. People often need
to constructive criticism to know where they need to improve. While discussing
performance issues can at first feel challenging, if employees are used to
receiving regular feedback it makes it easier to deal with any problems as they
arise.
Practices giving constructive feedback to an employee whose results or
behaviours are not meeting performance expectations.
The process for delivering constructive feedback is:
y

identify the specific result or behaviour that needs to change.

describe the negative impact it is having.

focus on the issue, not on the person

ask the employee what they think might be causing the problem, and what
might work to improve the situation

discuss the available solutions and agree on the best approach

agree upon next steps, including a timeline for action and follow up

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Learning activity: Role play constructive feedback


You have some constructive feedback for an employee, Alex. (You might recall
his case from earlier in this section).
As Alexs Department manager you have noticed that he seems to lack
direction, displays low self-esteem, and has a number of performance issues
(regularly showed up late for work and took more sick days that the other
employees). These are affecting his performance goals which include:
y

being on time for work he is required to open up the office for other
staff

achieving a 5% increase in internal customer satisfaction

You are required to provide Alex with constructive feedback about his current
performance and explore ways of achieving the performance goals. Note that
this may require you to revise the performance goals for Alex.
Undertake this activity in class and review your performance with your learning
group.

Tip: Hot Stove Principle


The Hot Stove is a simple principle about disciplinary measures in the
workplace. If you were to touch a hot stove marked Dont Touch you would
quickly discover the discipline is immediate, with warning, consistent and
impersonal.
The principles are simple:
1. you had a warning you knew you would get burnt touching the stove
2. the penalty was consistent the same rules applies to everyone
3. the penalty is impersonal a person is burned because they touched the
stove regardless of who they are
4. the penalty is immediate

Behaviours and attitudes


What are you projecting?
Good communicators understand that people gain understanding and interpret
meaning from a combination of both verbal (spoken words) and non-verbal cues
(facial expressions, body language, tone). It is interesting to realise that:
y

55% of communication is transmitted through body language

38% of communication comes through the tone of voice

7% of communication comes through words

Remember that people notice your body language and the way you send
messages both positive and negative without using words.

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Section 2 Managing Performance

Be positive
Few people naturally feel comfortable giving others negative feedback, and will
often avoid any painful conversations about substandard performance. There can
also be a feeling that highlighting poor performance will only destroy morale
among other employees and make matters even worse.
Remember that most performance problems can be resolved through effective
communication between managers and their employees. As a manager its
important to convey a positive attitude and approach. The aim of effective
performance management is to reach a positive outcome for both the well-being
of the employee and the growth of the organisation.
Tip: 80/20 Rule
80 per cent of the time, the performance shortfall is beyond the control of the
team member..
Take interest in your team
Be seen, be interested, be understanding. Being a coach means being out there.
y They dont understand my job.
y The boss only leaves his/her office to yell at us.
y I never see them and then they tell me that Im not performing.
These are all common complaints aimed at managers who dont engage with
people.
Tip: Go to the source of the problems
The Japanese realise that you cant solve problems from your office. A key
principle of Japanese management is called Gemba which translates to:
go to the source of the problem.
This will help to turn your biggest source of problems into your biggest source of
solutions!

Other supports?
Mentors
What does a mentor do? The role of a mentor can depend on the people and the
situation. The role of a mentor typically involves:
y Acting as a role model by freely giving their own time to help guide the
employee .
y Guiding the employee to further their personal goals .
y Discussing possible solutions to difficulties or issues.
y Helping the employee to reflect on their thoughts, beliefs, feelings and
behaviour.
y Freely sharing their own experience and knowledge to help the employee
develop their own talents.
y Helping the employee to build confidence in using their own judgments
and problem solving abilities.
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Training
Establishing a Performance Management System can change the way people
communicate and work with each other. Employees will need training to
understand the new relationships and how performance issues are openly
discussed and resolved.
Training sessions can provide the opportunity to enhance the understanding
about how the employees work links to the goals of the organisation.
The training can be in small groups or one-on-one. The time spent with employees
will help to build their confidence and communication skills by supporting them in
meaningful discussions about their performance.
Human resources
Your human resources team can support managers and employees when
addressing performance issues. If your organisation doesnt have a dedicated HR
person, you should talk with your most senior manager for guidance and advice.

Recording and analysing


Follow procedures for recording
One of the most important things to remember is to document all the discussions
you have relating to issues about peoples performance. Be sure your notes
include:
y

the date and time

the people involved

a brief summary of the situation

what was said during the discussion (in dot points)

the outcomes that were agreed to during the discussion

the follow-up

Make a note of how you expressed your performance expectations and how the
employee responded to the counselling. Keep a record of specific examples of
poor performance on work assignments. Having specific examples will make it
easier for you to explain whats wrong with the employees performance.
Identifying performance issues
To identify problems issues try asking: Why is performance at the level it is? 3
This simple question is often the easiest technique to unearth the possible
causes behind performance issues. The work of the manager becomes one of an
investigator, working to uncover performance problems and finding solutions to
rectify and improve the situation.

Tovey & Uren 2006, Managing Performance Improvement, Pearson Australia p140.

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You can identify performance issues by determining the likely cause of the
problem and implementing a change to remedy the situation.
y

A performance problem is any gap between the Desired Results and the
Actual Results.

Performance improvement is any effort targeted at closing the gap between


Actual Results and Desired Results.

For employees who are continuing to exhibit poor performance, as their manager
you need to decide if the solution comes in the shape of further training or
mentoring.
Make sure you outline your expectations for how long you will give the employee
to show signs of improvement, and what steps will be taken if their performance
doesnt improve.
Example: Balanced scorecard
Today's managers must view performance across several areas simultaneously.
Simply focusing on one area, such as financial measures, doesnt give the full
picture on how an organisation is performing.
The concept of the Balanced Scorecard, created by Robert Kaplan and David
Norton, suggests that the information required to manage performance could
be compared to that of a pilot flying a plane. For the complex task of flying an
airplane, pilots need detailed information about fuel, air speed, altitude,
bearing, and other indicators that summarise the current and predicted
environment.
Managers find themselves in a similar situation needing to assess performance
across several areas simultaneously. Simply focusing on one area, such as
financial measures, doesnt give the full performance picture.
By viewing the organisation from four perspectives, the balanced scorecard
provides a more comprehensive understanding of current performance.
Financial perspective the bottom-line financial measures
Internal perspective the performance of the key internal processes of
the business
Customer perspective customer needs and satisfaction
Innovation and learning perspective the organisations own people and
infrastructure
By balancing customer and employee satisfaction measures with results and
financial measures, managers have a more complete picture and will know
where to make improvements.

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Section summary
You should now understand:
y

Managers require a number of interpersonal and counselling skills to


engage staff in meaningful discussions about performance issues.

Managing by coaching involves helping people to make their own decisions


and take responsibility for their own development.

Communication is the basis for building strong relationships between


managers and employees.

Section checklist
Before you proceed to the next section, make sure that you understand how to:

; provide on-the-job coaching


; give feedback
; record outcomes of discussions

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Section 3 Reviewing Performance

Section 3 Reviewing Performance


In the previous sections you have looked at planning, goal setting and managing
performance. At the end of any given period, the performance needs to be
reviewed and, if necessary, modifications made to the plan to ensure ongoing
success or improvement in performances.
The process adopted in the workplace is very much like that of a sporting team.
Consider an AFL, NRL or A-League team. Even if they have won the competition for
the season just gone an achievement built on planning, goal setting and
ongoing management the team will need to continue to improve to be
successful in the coming season. Coaches will review team structures, player
capabilities and weaknesses and map out a plan for improvement. This process
often involves cutting players from the list, recruiting new players and developing
skill and fitness plans for the players to improve.
Businesses operate in much the same way.
Scenario: End of the season
Finally, Gregs footy team has reached the end of the season and its been successful. Well, they
have made slow, but steady progress. Gregs coaching approach seems to have made a
difference. The kids seem more motivated and feel as though they are getting somewhere now.
They are playing better, there is less absenteeism from training, there are fewer incidents
between players, skills have improved and the team is kicking more goals.
Greg is wondering what to do now. He thinks he should have an end of season party to celebrate
the good stuff. But he also wants to review with each player how the season went, plan for next
season and also get their perspective on how he went as a coach!
What would you do if you were in Gregs situation?

What skills will you need?


As a team leader in your workplace, you must be able to undertake:

; performance appraisal process


; disciplinary process
; termination process
Performance Appraisal Process
What is an appraisal?
A performance appraisal (review) is the final stage of the performance
management cycle. This is where the employee and manager meet to assess,
review and discuss the employees performance.

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The appraisal process

Tip: Performance Management is more than an appraisal


There is a lot of literature out there telling you how to do performance
appraisals.
As the manager or the employee, if you are waiting for the performance review
(appraisal) to raise an issue, then its too late. The process has failed.
Performance appraisals alone dont work. The employee should be advised of
weaknesses in their performance as the monitoring period is in progress, not be
told about it at the end of the period.
No one likes surprises in their work.
Preparing for the appraisal
The final appraisal is the formal assessment where employees and managers
meet to assess, review and discuss an employees performance. The broad aim of
the conversation is to pool the information that has been collected about
performance and discuss the ways it can be improved.
Set a time for the appraisal and confirm this in a letter to the employee. It is usual
to give them at least a weeks notice, and to tell them to come to the meeting
prepared to discuss their accomplishments.
The appraisal is an opportunity for managers to communicate with the employee
about:
y

past performances

their current level of job satisfaction

plans for future performance

Schedule the meeting to be held in a private meeting space that will be free from
interruptions.
Gather together all the information relevant to the appraisal:
y

performance management plan

coaching notes

KPIs

involve HR if necessary

set a time

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Section 3 Reviewing Performance

It is good practice to document the arrangement. The level of formalisation will be


dependent upon the organisations culture, but an email confirmation, memo or
letter should be prepared so that everyone involved is aware that an appraisal is
about to take place.
Example: Performance appraisal letter
DATE
Private and Confidential
Name
Department
Dear Name
I am writing to you to confirm the details regarding your performance appraisal.
As we have previously discussed, the details of your performance appraisal are:
Date:

xx

Venue:

xx

Time:

xx

The purpose of the appraisal will be to consider your performance, determine


your level of job satisfaction and to identify a work plan for your future
performance.
Yours Sincerely
Managers name
Manager Title
The performance appraisal
When the performance appraisal begins show that you are committed to working
towards a beneficial outcome:
y

Start by acknowledging the employees strengths

Be open to the employees input and ideas. Remind them it is a two-way


conversation

Listen and ask for the employees opinions

Remember, the objective is to evaluate the job performance and not the
person

Remember to address whats important to the employee

Avoid attributing motives to their behaviour. Focus on the facts and not on
the person

Discuss the potential for further career advancement

Take a positive focus by looking towards the future and not where
performance has been poor in the past

Build the conversation around the employees goals for the upcoming year

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Acknowledging good performers


Recognise the efforts of the star performer by acknowledging their achievements
in detail. Make sure to tie their contribution to the overall goals of the
organisational. Let the employee know they have your gratitude and full support.
Think about how you can provide the employee with new challenges. Its
important that they not only feel appreciated, but also feel that they are
progressing in their careers.
For average performers, if you feel the employee could be doing better, let them
know how you think they can improve. If, however, you believe the employee is
doing the best that they can and their performance is adequate, the best course
maybe to review them kindly by reinforcing what they are doing well.
Coaching poor performers
This can by far be the most difficult appraisal for any manager to conduct. If the
employees performance has been bad, let them know right from the start. While
you can indicate that there is potential for improvement, there is nothing to be
gained by glossing over the fact that employees performance is below your
expectations.
Be as specific as possible in your assessment of the problems and the areas
where you have identified you can see room for improvement.
Dont forget to ask the employee for their opinion. Remember, its a two-way
conversation, so encourage the employee to share their views. Ask how they feel
they are performing, and where they see areas for improvement.
If an employee becomes angry
y stay calm and professional
y listen to what the employee has to say and paraphrase back
y let the employee keep talking until they appear to be calming down
y describe, don't accuse
y avoid arguments
y bring the focus of the discussion back onto performance standards
Tips: Be prepared for challenging conversations
You are going to have some difficult conversations throughout the performance
appraisal process. The following tips may be of assistance:
1. Describe, don't accuse. Use active listening to defuse the emotion in the
situation. Make sure you are communicating a feeling rather than
blaming
2. Take a joint problem solving approach. Use paraphrasing and open
ended questions
3. Adopt a clean, uncomplicated approach. Don't try to manipulate or trick.
4. Try to show empathy and sensitivity. Do not be neutral and cold, or try to
diminish the feelings of the angry person by saying things like: You
shouldn't feel like that.
5. Create an atmosphere of equality and respect. Do not stress your
superiority and power it will usually result in defensiveness
6. Engender inquiry and listening rather than finality and certainty. Don't
come on too strong, constantly selling and telling.

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Section 3 Reviewing Performance

Learning activity: Role play


You have taken over a team in the past two months and you have to provide
someone with some difficult feedback regarding their performance.
Performance appraisals are undertaken on a three-monthly basis. Roberta is a
key member of your team and her past 3 performance appraisals all show that
she has been advised that her performance has exceeded expectation (i.e. the
KPIs in her work plan).
Roberta has not been responsive to some of the new processes you have been
implementing within your team. She is regularly late for work and on two
occasions, recently left team meetings in an agitated state. During their
performance appraisals, other team members have questioned you regarding
your performance in maintaining control within the team.
How will you approach Robertas performance appraisal?
What issues will you raise and how will you raise them?
360 degree feedback
The 360 degree feedback is a self-development technique for managers, to give a
clear view of their own performance at work. Managers learn what other people
think about their performance through feedback from peers, direct reports, other
managers and customers.
This approach places the manager at the centre of a feedback circle with a
number of different views. Generally people complete a questionnaire where
opinions are expressed that cover different aspects of the managers
performance. This is often a useful technique as the person receiving the
feedback can be surer of the accuracy than if the feedback just comes from only
one person.
Outcomes of performance appraisals
An employee should be able to walk away from a performance appraisal knowing
that their work is appreciated and understanding where they can focus on making
improvements.
Be cautious not to set unrealistic expectations that could leave the employee
disappointed. Sometimes its easy to attempt to motivate the employee with the
promise of future reward in the way of an increase salary or promotion. This can
backfire if they start to harbour unrealistic expectations about how well theyre
doing and if these rewards are not met.
When employees perform well they should be rewarded. Rewards keep morale
high and foster additional improvement. However, not everyone agrees on the
merits of giving pay rises and promotions to performance appraisals. Some HR
professionals suggest that linking performance evaluation and rewards can be
unfair to the average employees who don't over-achieve.
Find out from your human resources team staff what the organisational policy is
for giving performance rewards to employees.

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Disciplinary process
What is a disciplinary process?
Formal disciplinary action results when all previous attempts to manage
performance have been exhausted, or if the employee has committed serious
misconduct.

Task performance
Most of the time, individual performance relates to work tasks. How can you
undertake tasks in order to achieve organisational standards for productivity,
quality, delivery or safety? Planned and systematic coaching and mentoring are
very effective in improving performance in these areas.
This coaching can include things like:
y

meeting production targets

achieving low levels of customer complaints

completing tasks within specified time frames

Example: Missing deadlines


Sue is a programmer at an IT company. She has recently missed a couple of
deadlines on a project. Sue has been pretty upset about this. She is a diligent
worker; however, the company has started working in a new programming
language and Sue is not familiar with it.
The previous manager would have just yelled at her and headed back into his
office. Its like the old saying: If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks
like a nail.
On the other hand, Vince, the new manager has been managing Sue more
effectively. Vince has spent the time to try and understand Sues issues and he
has reallocated resources in order to give Sue some extra time until she gets up
to speed. He has also offered her to the chance to attend some training.
Vince has documented all of this in a plan and Sue finally feels as though she is
getting somewhere.
What is misconduct?
Misconduct is a situation where an employee fails to follow a workplace rule.
Misconduct includes like tardiness, absenteeism and insubordination to
managers.
Issues of misconduct must be addressed by the manager immediately.

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Section 3 Reviewing Performance

This is quite different to poor performance which is the failure of an employee to


carry out their work at an acceptable level
What is serious misconduct
Serious misconduct refers to things like:
y
y
y
y

sexual harassment
bullying
offensive behaviour
breaking the law

Example: Workplace violence


An incident occurs while Laszlo is helping Nihall move a heavy parcel. Laszlo is
doing his best to help Nihall, but he accidentally drops the parcel on Nihalls
foot. Nihall is angry and calls Laszlo a clumsy oaf.
Laszlo loses his temper because he feels humiliated in front of the other staff.
He shoves Nihall and the situation soon deteriorates into a fist fight between
the two employees. Their manager happens to be nearby and breaks up the
fight.
What is standing down
The Workplace Relations Act 1996 gives employers the right to stand down an
employee without pay in certain circumstances.
If no policy towards standing down employees exists, employers must choose
between terminating the employee's employment or else allowing them to remain
on their job while the matter is being investigated.
The disciplinary meeting
y Enlist the help of your human resources team or senior managers to assist
you in the appraisal.
y The process begins with a formal letter to the employee notifying them that
they will be required to attend a disciplinary meeting.
y When the meeting begins work towards cooperation, NOT confrontation.
y state the performance expectations and seek a confirmation from the
employee that they understand these expectations.
y The discussion should focus on telling the employee exactly what must be
done to bring their performance up to an acceptable level. This should be
done by discussing specific examples of performance issues that have
occurred, and suggesting ways that performance can be improved.
y Make a dated note to document the matters that have been discussed and
any assistance offered.
Who should attend?
y union representative
y legal representative
y HR personnel
y witness
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Section 3 Reviewing Performance

Student Workbook

Outcomes
y agreed steps to improve
y careful monitoring
y employee assistance programs

Termination process
What is termination/dismissal?
In extreme cases, you may have no other choice but to terminate an employees
employment.
If it comes down to terminating an employees employment due to performance
issues, the law requires that the employee was given adequate warning of their
unsatisfactory performance and were given opportunities to improve. 4
It is a convention to give staff up to three written warnings to staff. Written
warnings will provide sufficient documentation of the employees performance
issues, the steps taken to improve it, and the outcomes that resulted.
This type of written evidence can be critical if the situation escalates and goes
moves into formal arbitration before the Industrial Relations Commission.
Termination Process
Case study: No evidence
Jane has frequently been late and absent from work over the last few months.
In lunchroom conversations with her peers, she talks openly about looking for
other jobs.
Her manager, Konrad, has tried to address this issue and general lack of
performance with Jane a number of times. They have had numerous informal
chats and meetings. Jane generally denies that there is a problem, but once or
twice has acknowledged that she is not happy in her job.
Finally, after she arrived at work three hours late, Konrad drafted up a letter of
dismissal and sacked Jane. Jane responded a week later with an unfair
dismissal claim. When Konrad sought advice for this, he was advised to get all
his records (meeting minutes, e-mails etc) together.
Konrad realised (too late) that he should have been keeping better records.
When this case went to arbitration, it was found that, due to the lack of
evidence on Konrads part, Jane was unfairly dismissed.
Unfair dismissal
According to the Workplace Relations Act an unfair dismissal occurs when the
employees dismissal is harsh, unjust or unreasonable.
If a case of unfair dismissal ends up in court, a strong emphasis is placed on the
managers efforts to communicate performance expectations to the employee, as
well as the assistance they gave to help the employee improve.

Tovey & Uren 2006, Managing Performance Improvement, Pearson Australia, p265

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Section 3 Reviewing Performance

As a manager, you should be aware that fines of up to $33,000 exist for an


unauthorised stand down of an employee, so the process has to be carefully
managed from the start. Specific criteria are used to determine if a case of unfair
dismissal exists:
y

Whether there was a valid reason for the termination.

Whether the employee was notified of that reason and given an


opportunity to respond.

If the termination related to unsatisfactory performance by the employee,


whether the employee had previously been warned about that
unsatisfactory performance. 5

Claims of unfair dismissal must be lodged within 21 days after termination of the
employees employment.
What is the AIRC?
AIRC is the Australian Industrial Relations Commission. It is an independent
tribunal to makes judgements over cases of unfair or unlawful dismissal. The AIRC
currently operates under the Workplace Relations Act (1996).
The AIRC aims to resolve differences between employers and employees by
agreement, rather than a formal, binding decision. It can dismiss an application
for unfair dismissal if it is clear that the application is frivolous or lacking in
substance. However, if the claim turns into formal arbitration process, known as a
hearing, a decision will be made that is binding on both parties.
Further information about the rights of employers and employees can be found on
the AIRC website (http://www.airc.gov.au).

Section summary
You should now understand:
y

The overall goal of a performance appraisal is to increase the wellbeing of


the employee and the growth of the organisation.

Formal performance management requires careful documentation of


performance issues and attempts to fix the situation.

Employees are protected by the laws of unfair dismissal, so managers


must keep records of the attempts they have made in managing employee
performance.

Section checklist
Before you proceed to the next section, make sure that you understand the:

; performance appraisal process


; disciplinary process
; termination process
5 <http://www.airc.gov.au/dismissals/employees.htm>
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Conclusion

Student Workbook

Conclusion
The aim of performance management is to build an ongoing dialogue between
managers and their staff about finding new ways to improve performance. A
Performance Management System involves the stages of planning, managing,
and reviewing employee efforts towards achieving organisational and individual
goals.
Managers should be charged with a clear responsibility for coaching, monitoring
and improving the performance of their employees. Effective managers today
require the necessary skills to be both a coach and mentor to the teams and
people they manage.

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Glossary

Glossary
Performance
management

A management system to boost employee


performance and the productivity of the organisation

Performance
management system
(PMS)

A three-stage management system that includes


setting performance goals, creating performance
standards, monitoring performance, rewarding
excellence in performance and working towards
continual improvements

Performance
excellence

A quality goal to integrate all business activities to


create improved results for customers and
stakeholders

Operational plan

An action plan that turns strategy into concrete


activities.

Key performance
indicators (KPI)

Performance measures that focus on achieving


results that are seen as critical to the success of the
organisation

Balanced scorecard

A model that measures an organisations performance


based on four different perspectives

Leading indicators

Measures (drivers) that predict future performance

Lagging indicators

Measures (outcomes) that indicate past performance

360 degree review

Management technique that draws feedback from a


variety of separate perspectives

Performance appraisal

A formal review of employee performance. Also known


as a performance review

Self-appraisal

Employees provide feedback on their own


performance

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Page 40 of 52

Deliverable

Department

Reason/
Barriers

Goal

Focus KPI

Department Goals

Operational Goals

Appendix 1 Operational Plan template

Appendices

Appendices

Goal

BSBMGT502B Manage people performance


2009 Innovation & Business Industry Skills Council Ltd

KPI Due

Progress

Student Workbook

Student Workbook

Appendices

Appendix 2 Sample Performance Management Policy Template


Policy Name:
Policy Number:

Contact Officer:

Date Approved:

Date for Next Review:

Overview

Aims and Objectives

Unit Teams

Responsibility for Performance Management and Training

Policy Implementation

Managers responsibilities

Employees responsibilities

Performance Management Framework

Equity

Performance Management KPIs

Funding

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2009 Innovation & Business Industry Skills Council Ltd

Page 41 of 52

Appendices

Student Workbook

Appendix 3 Performance Management process

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Student Workbook

Appendices

Appendix 4 Performance Management Plan template


Name/Position:

Manager:

Reference from
Operational Plan

Key result area

Managers comments

Review Period:
Indicator of
Success/Performance

By
When

Status
Report

Signature
Date

Staff members comments

Signature
Date

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Page 43 of 52

Appendices

Student Workbook

Appendix 5 Performance Development Plan template


Performance Development Plan
Name/
Manager:

Review Period:

Position:
Skills to be
developed:

How skills are to be developed:

Managers comments

Priority
(HML)

By
When?

Skills
gained
(Y/N)

Signature
Date

Staff members comments

Signature
Date

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Student Workbook

Appendices

Appendix 6 Coaching Session Listeners evaluation sheet


Coachs Name

Phone No.

Listeners Name

Phone No.

Assessment Site
Coaching Date/s

Time/s

Employees Name

Phone No.

Standard of performance

Satisfactory
Yes

No

Did the coach utilise the GROW model for coaching his or her
employee?
Did the coach identify the performance issue?
Did the coach utilise a number of communication skills to reflect and
clarify the employees answers?
y active Listening
y clarifying
y summarising
Did the coach ask probing questions?
Did the coach allow the employee time to think before replying to
questions?
Did the coach use body language cues to help put the employee at
ease?
Did the coach acknowledge the employee during the coaching session
using positive feedback?
Did the coach provide constructive feedback to the employee during
the session?
Did the coach provide strategies for continuous improvement for the
employee?
Did the coach identify his or her strengths and weaknesses as a
coach/manager?
Did the coach identify areas for self improvement?

Comments/feedback to coach

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Appendices

Student Workbook

Appendix 7 Coaching Session Coachs self reflection template


Coachs Name

Phone No.

Listeners Name

Phone No.

Assessment Site
Coaching Date/s

Time/s

Employees Name

Phone No.

Respond to these questions with your feelings and thoughts about coaching.
What was your initial reaction to the coaching exercise?

How do you think you went?

What do you think were some of your strengths during the exercise?

What do you think were areas where there was room for improvement?

What kind of strategies can you think of to help improve your coaching skills?

What do you think will be the cost of not implementing new strategies into your
role as a manager?

What are some valuable skills that you have learned today to help you in your role
as manager/coach?

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Student Workbook

Appendices

Appendix 8 Coaching poorly performing employees - Listeners


checklist template
Coachs Name

Phone No.

Listeners Name

Phone No.

Assessment Site
Coaching Date/s

Time/s

Employees Name

Phone No.

Standard of performance

Satisfactory
Yes

No

Did the coach utilise the GROW model for coaching his or her
employee?
Did the coach identify the performance issue?
Did the coach utilise a number of communication skills to reflect and
clarify the employees answers?
y active Listening
y clarifying
y summarising
Did the coach ask probing questions?
Did the coach allow the employee time to think before replying to
questions?
Did the coach use body language cues to help put the employee at
ease?
Did the coach acknowledge the employee during the coaching session
using positive feedback?
Did the coach provide constructive feedback to the employee during
the session?
Did the coach provide strategies for continuous improvement for the
employee?
Did the coach identify his or her strengths and weaknesses as a
coach/manager?
Did the coach identify areas for self improvement?

Comments/feedback to coach

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Appendices

Student Workbook

Appendix 9 Coaching poorly performing employees Coachs self


reflection template
Coachs Name

Phone No.

Listeners Name

Phone No.

Assessment Site
Coaching Date/s

Time/s

Employees Name

Phone No.

Respond to these questions with your feelings and thoughts about coaching
What was your initial reaction to the exercise?

How do you think you went?

What do you think were some of your strengths during the exercise?

What do you think were some of the areas for room for improvement?

What kind of strategies can you think of to help improve your coaching skills?

What do you think will be the cost of not implementing new strategies into your
role as a manager?

What are some valuable skills that you have learned today to help you in your role
as manager/coach?

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Student Workbook

Appendices

Appendix 10 Risk Analysis template and scoring criteria


Area
Content not provided
in a timely manner

Impact Probability Mitigation


High
High
Renegotiate
project timeline

Contingency
Renegotiate
project
resources

Risks:
High 76-100% that event will occur
Medium 4675% that event will occur
Low < 45% that event will occur.

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Student Workbook

Appendix 11 Meeting Notes

Present:

Supervisor <insert NAME>, Title


Employee <insert NAME>, Title
Employee Representative <insert NAME>, Title
Organisation Representative <insert NAME>, Title

Date:
Time:
<Insert NAME> opened the meeting and outlined the process to be followed,
including the method of taking the statement/notes during the meeting also
noted that <insert NAME> had chosen to/not to bring representation to the
meeting to which they confirmed.
<insert NAME>explained that the meeting was to obtain further information as a
result of a <Insert REASON>, am matter referred to <insert EMPLOYEE NAME> on
<insert DATE> and which <insert EMPLOYEE NAME> believed they were <insert
REASON. SUPERVISOR NAME, DATE/S as appropriate>. A copy of the information
may be shown to the attendees.
Question <insert NAME>
Answer <insert NAME>
Question <insert NAME>
Answer <insert NAME>
Question <insert NAME>
Answer <insert NAME>
<Insert NAME> advised that we would end the questions and did <insert NAME>
have any more comments that they felt relevant that we had not covered.
Other comments made by <insert NAME> during the meeting
Signed and dated:
____________________________________

____ / _____ / ____

<insert NAME>, Title

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Appendices

Appendix 12 Outcome of meeting

Date
Private and confidential
Name
Department
Dear Employee,
Re: <Insert REASON>

As a result of our meeting on <insert DATE> with you, <insert NAME> (your
representative), <insert NAME> (organisation representative) and myself, I would
like to confirm the following with regards to <Insert REASON>.
<Insert DETAILS OF MEETING> for example:
As per discussions with you it was advised that your sick/personal leave
over a 12 month period from <insert DATE> to <Insert DATE> was
excessive, with which you both agreed and confirmed.
In the meeting it was discussed and agreed by you that your sick leave will
be monitored (by me) monthly and regular catch ups will be held with you
and I to discuss any potential issues and to touch base with you with
regards to any sick leave taken.
Counselling was offered to you should you require, for both you and your
family. Please find attached a card with the details should you wish to
utilise this confidential service.
As previously advised, your excessive use of sick leave places a significant
strain on the staff at <Insert ORGANISATION NAME> as well as the rest of
your work group.
Please be reminded that should your sick/personal leave continue to be
excessive that you may be subject to disciplinary action.
If you have any concerns/queries please feel free to contact either <insert NAME>
on 9999 9999 or myself.
Yours sincerely

<Insert Manager Name>


<Insert Manager Title>

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Student Workbook

Appendix 13 Stand down

Date
Private and confidential
Name
Address
Suburb
Dear Employee,

Re: Inappropriate Behaviour


Reference is made to the meeting held on <insert DATE> with yourself, <insert
names of supervisors, employee and organisation representatives> concerning
two written complaints received by <Insert ORGANISATION NAME> employees.
In view of the seriousness of these various allegations you are advised that
effective immediately you are stood down with pay from your duties until a full
investigation has been undertaken and completed by <Insert ORGANISATION
NAME>.
At the completion of the investigations a meeting will be organised with yourself
and <Insert NAME>. Until such a time you will be stood down on pay and you are
not to attend your usual place of work or any other <Insert ORGANISATION NAME>
unless directed.
Yours sincerely,
<Insert Manager Name>
<Insert Manager Title>

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