HR Management & Compliance

3 Signs Your Managers Are Failing at Performance Management

It’s easy to blame employees for their underperformance, especially when their managers are doing the same. The truth, though, is that sometimes it’s the managers themselves who are at the root of the problems.

You need to know when this is the case, Andre Lavoie opines on He points to three red flags that managers might be to blame:

  1. Employees start leaving the company. A 2015 Gallup report found that half of the professionals surveyed said they had quit a job to “get away from their boss” at some point in their career. Managers can push strong employees to leave by overworking staff or failing to keep promises.

Lavoie suggests asking employees for feedback on their direct supervisors and upper management. Conduct regular anonymous surveys, so they can be honest without fear of repercussions. Lavoie also encourages managers to host open discussions with their teams at the end of each week, giving employees the opportunity to share the areas where they need management’s help.

  1. Morale starts to fall. Lavoie cites an Officevibe poll that found 31% of respondent employees said they wished their manager communicated with them more often, and 63% said they didn’t receive enough praise. The takeaway is simple, he says: Employees want more open communication, transparency, and recognition. Otherwise, morale will probably drop, while productivity stagnates.

Consider hosting weekly huddles where employees can share their accomplishments and be publicly celebrated. Recognition programs should reflect your workplace culture. For example, if your employees thrive in friendly competitions, you might offer a tiered rewards program where employees earn prizes as they hit specific goals.

  1. Performances stagnate. Great managers, Lavoie says, inspire and motivate their staff. Employees respond well to feedback, and performance continues to improve. When performance stagnates and employees disengage, on the other hand, it could be because managers are too hands off, making employees feel disconnected and unnoticed.

Lavoie says managers often overlook their roles in monitoring employee performance and developing talent. Teach them to gather performance metrics and share these data with each employee. Ongoing performance evaluations delivering the data lets employees see their personal progress and strive for a realistic and clear objective.