A Performance Management Model


As a follow-up to the recent post and comments “Are You Managing or Just Nagging?”, here’s everything you need to facilitate a robust dialog on performance management, with lots of room for grey areas.

A. Simple model:

B. Supporting material for each quadrant:

1. Managing: How to Discuss an Employee Performance Problem

2. Nagging: Are You Managing or Just Nagging?

3. Vacation: 10 Reasons to go on a Vacation

4. Avoiding: The Cowardly Manager’s Guide to Dealing with Poor Performers

Just made it up over the weekend – what do you think? Make sense? What’s missing, what would you change? Could it make me rich and famous like Ken Blanchard or Marshall Goldsmith (humble credit to both for influencing my thinking on this model)?

Feel free to use, modify, etc… just give me some credit, but only if it works well. (-:

2/1/2012 update:

Some of the early feedback on this model suggests it needs some clarification. Let’s try a brief description of each quadrant, and see if that helps. We’ll start at the upper right quadrant and work our way around:

1. Managing.
This is where a manager is taking appropriate action on legitimate performance problems. That is, there is something the employee is doing or not doing that is having a significant impact on results. Or, in the case of a behavioral or values issue, it’s having a significant impact on the results on others, company reputation, etc….
The post How to Discuss an Employee Performance Problem describes how to have this kind of discussion in a productive way, not punitive way.

2. Avoiding.
This is where a manager SHOULD be taking action on something the employee is doing or not doing, but because of a lack of courage, skill, awareness, or whatever, is not doing anything about it.
The post The Cowardly Manager’s Guide to Dealing with Poor Performers describes in a tongue-in-cheek way the perils of this lack of avoiding addressing a performance issue head-on.

3. Vacation.
This is where a manager’s team is just humming along, with NO performance problems, so there’s no need to take action. It’s probably because the manager has done such a good job in hiring, communicating performance goals and expectations, being a role model, giving regular feedback and coaching, and developing employees. Or, it could be just dumb luck. (-:
Either way, the manager is able to take a well-deserved vacation, and the post 10 Reasons to go on a Vacation describes why it’s important for a manager (or anyone) to take vacation.

4. Nagging.
This is where a manager is riding herd on an employee for some little thing that really doesn’t matter. While the issue may be a personal pet peeve for the manager, there’s no clear connection to the employee’s performance. The post Are You Managing or Just Nagging? attempts to distinguish between performance problems, works habits, and pet peeves.