Seven Performance Management Tips for Supervisors

Supervisors play a critical role in promoting employee commitment, motivation, and retention, and are key in developing and nurturing staff.

Here are some useful strategies for promoting enhanced employee (and organizational) performance. They can be effective management tools for use during rating cycles, but especially as supervisors complete annual performance appraisals for assigned staff, and establish expectations for the new rating cycles:

  1. Set meaningful, attainable expectations aligned with the mission and broad objectives of your programs. Be clear about employee expectations, and explain any measurements used.
  2. Approach this process as a collaborative effort, engaging staff in the process. Seek out employees’ ideas to develop appropriate critical elements or outcomes that support your work and lead to the achievement of organizational goals. Do periodic check-ins to learn about what’s working, and where you can help remove obstacles.
  3. Provide employee access to the necessary tools, resources, and environment supportive of performance enhancement. Inquire about relevant technology; available literature in the field; or other materials/practices that facilitate successful performance.
  4. Continually assess and communicate progress regarding performance (don’t save all your feedback until year’s end). Credible, constructive feedback includes timely, specific references to predefined targets and goals.
  5. Provide for coaching, mentoring, and the active pursuit of new knowledge and learning, using traditional and innovative means to enhance learning, optimize employee strength, and address areas targeted for improvement. Inquire about assistance needed; then allow time for employees to learn improved methods and procedures. Always contact the Workforce Relations Division immediately if you become aware of performance problems.
  6. Provide employees with mid-year progress review and final evaluation feedback, and assign ratings of record. Face-to-face progress reviews and final evaluations should be scheduled in advance. Supervisors can solicit employee accomplishments prior to each of these meetings. Engage employees in discussions about the best ways to meet future milestones and goals.
  7. Demonstrate appreciation of employee performance through the use of the many available forms of recognition. Employee recognition is strongly encouraged.

The Workforce Relations Divisions is available to help supervisors, managers, and employees learn more about these principles. We welcome your questions about performance management and its relationship to incentives.