It’s management that improves performance, not training…
Too many managers think that skills development is nothing to do with them – after all, that’s why you pay people, externally or internally, to do training for you. They’re the experts, and besides, managers are busy people with operations to run and deadlines to meet – they simply haven’t got time to spend developing people’s skills.
But if money invested in training and development is to stand any chance of yielding a respectable return there has to be good management in place prepared to take responsibility for developing the skills of the people who work for them.
“Good” management in this context will:
- understand how well the organisation is performing
- know where it needs to improve and by how much
- identify where the development of employee skills can contribute to this improvement
- be able to take the necessary action that will make that improvement happen
To do this there will need to be in place some kind of performance management system – what that system looks like will depend entirely on the size and complexity of the employer organisation. Larger ones will have formal, documented procedures while some small and micro organisations may simply evolve ways of working that manage performance effectively, without the need to draw up a formal process.
And any effective performance management system will need effective managers who are both able and willing to manage it. This will require them to:
- have the cognitive skills to analyse information and come to evidence based decisions
- have the people skills to support individuals to improve while at the same time confronting poor performance when it occurs.
Michael Woodgate offers support to employers to set up performance management structures and delivers training to managers in how best to use them.