SMU HR Resources

Managing Performance

Managers have many resources available to help them develop the skills needed to successfully manage a team.

Professional Development
New and existing managers seeking to develop their skills are encouraged to enroll in the appropriate Manager Orientation classes as well as other developmental experiences available on campus. Learning new concepts, skills, and networking with other managers can build a manager's repertoire of tools and resources for building an outstanding team.

Providing and Seeking Feedback
Supervisors should be giving their team members regular and timely feedback as well as seeking feedback about how they can become better managers for the team. A good way to do this is to have regular 1-1 meetings with team members. This gives managers an opportunity to provide feedback on a consistent basis.

In addition, the University requires managers to provide formal feedback via a performance review on an annual basis, and managers with new employees should complete a probationary review within the first 90 days of employment. Check the links to the right for additional information about performance reviews.

Great managers consistently seek feedback for themselves from their supervisors, colleagues, and team members. This type of information can enable managers to work more effectively with everyone, even team members under their supervision. Successful managers recognize that flexing their managerial styles to promote the best performance from individual team members may be necessary as a "one-size-fits-all" mentality typically produces average results at best.

Tools for Providing Recognition
Managers seeking to retain their high performers and motivate others need to understand the tools available at SMU. Recognition is an often underutilized area of supervising others as managers often struggle with the belief that recognition requires a commitment of budget dollars to be effective. Recognition may be as simple as a quick conversation in which the manager identifies the specific accomplishment or behavior and its impact, followed by a sincere expression of thanks.

Managers with consistently high performing team members may wish to nominate them for one of the various staff recognition awards or structure their merit allocation so that they can more effectively recognize outstanding performance with a higher merit raise. Supervisors also have a great opportunity to recognize extended years of service through the Service Awards program.

When An Employee Has Performance Issues
Managers who need to address a performance issue should seek to understand the common types of performance problems and then investigate the situation before problem-solving with the employee. Human Resources offers two Manager Orientation classes, "Managing and Coaching fo High Performance," and "Employee Relations Essentials," at various times during the year. These two classes help managers practice important coaching skills and develop an understanding of the University's formal progressive discpline process. Managers must first complete the class on coaching as most performance issues are best handled through effective coaching.

We offer a variety of links to the right with more information about these tools and additional information our supervisors often find helpful in managing their teams.