Performance Coaching: How to manage your employees’ competencies

To maximize the potential of the individual you have hired you will need to know WHY they do things the way they do. Will they spend endless hours researching the minutest details, or will they hurry through the process to quickly get the job done? Are they highly distracted by people and circumstances? Will either of these factors impact their productivity? Finally, do they have a strong belief in themselves and/or are they willing to follow the “company line?” While each individual is unique, we know that most employees are a bit more egocentric than the average employee, and may require special direction and focus. As you combine these two pieces of information, you must pinpoint how each employee’s behaviors will influence stress and productivity in the process of task completion. When you have a good grasp of this, your stress levels will be minimized, as will those of your departmental members.

After referring to the average employee’s graphs the most important thing you can communicate to a new employee is the reason their job exists. If they understand this it will provide the context for everything they do.

When you consider the competencies (product knowledge, content marketing, value prop development, competitive analysis) and attributes (project management, conceptual thinking, goal attainment, planning/organization, self-starting, decisive, strategic thinking) necessary to perform that aspect of their job you will need to determine how to manage those competencies.

In the following matrix we will consider each of the 10 defining characteristics of the average employee, and what you will need to manage with either stronger or weaker tendencies to reduce their stress level and improve their productivity.

Please make sure to pay particular attention to how strong or weak the average employee is in each of these categories, so that when you apply these recommendations to your own departmental members they will be appropriate.

For example, most employees are decisive and controlling, and do not typically like a lot of supervision. They will not need daily meetings to monitor their progress, as this will become a cause of frustration. Therefore, you would not “manage” this as closely as another behavior.

You will need to understand the benchmarks of your individual department, and how they compare to national averages. If you do not have benchmarks for your departmental members or their jobs, you will have to estimate how strong or weak these characteristics are in your situation.

Behavior/Mindset

Lower Score requires:

Higher Score requires:

Ability to be decisive and control their circumstances

More frequent checkpoints (less detail) during project life

Less frequent checkpoints but more detail during project life

Capacity for communicating and persuading others

Greater depth of information about key project points

Less input/information about key project points

Adversity to change of routine or responsibilities

More diversity in conceptual approaches to content

Less diversity and more detail about content

Analytical focus on facts and details

Greater attention to detail and structure

Less attention to micro information focus on macro

Objective desire to identify precise and accurate results

More focus on research, data analysis and customer impact

Less focus on research and data analysis

Objectively ensures time & energy effectively to bring ROI

Ensure time and resources are used properly

Less concern about time and resource management

Subjective desire to ensure ideals are met

Direct employee to specific client needs and requirements that impact final results

Generally address the broad scope of client needs

Subjective desire to ensure people's needs are a priority

Check frequently to ensure that people interaction is positive

Check regularly to ensure that client is not playing too active a role in the process

A belief in self and strategic abilities

Compliment employee’s efforts more frequently

Ensure employee sees how their contribution helps strategically

A belief in ideological system and/or corporate structure

Place less emphasis on corporate focus and more on project

Place more emphasis on corporate end results