Performance Management – How to Turn Goals into Action (including the GROW T technique)

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Do you regularly review the performance of your team? How effective is your approach?

Do your team members have a clear understanding of their performance? Do they have specific goals and actions?

If feedback and performance reviews are limited to an annual appraisal, the exercise often becomes irrelevant and meaningless. Employees want to know how they are performing right now and not what you thought of their work from months ago. To succeed, performance management needs to be a process of regular review and feedback.

While there are many tools that can be employed to review performance, give feedback and encourage continuous development, 121s can provide a strong foundation.

Here are a few thoughts about 121s from us…

But what should you do and say in a 121? How can you make a 121 a valuable experience for your team member and your organisation?

We recommend the GROW T model for running a 121. This utilises the popular GROW coaching model which explores Goals, Reality, Options and Way forward, through three different dimensions.


So, how does the GROW T approach work and how can you use it?

GROW T provides you with a framework to help you structure your 121 meeting. It helps you apply GROW coaching techniques to 3 key areas of performance management, during a 121 meeting:

  • 1) Personal Objectives
  • 2) Business
  • 3) Development

(Image is from our ‘What Tools do Managers Use? – Cord of Three’ series of infographics, featured in the Coachical Management Excellence learning room.)

Start at the top of our tree (or the top line of the T). Here the conversation is about the individual’s career and personal ambitions and objectives. You should seek to understand what your team member wants to achieve, what is important to them and, finally, what drives and motivates them.

Then come down the left-hand side to have a GROW conversation around business performance. Here, you should explore

  • The individual’s business goals and targets?
  • What, in reality, has been achieved?
  • What are the options to correct or continue to succeed?
  • What is the way forward that will facilitate this?

Finally, you should come down the right-hand side, to have a GROW conversation around the capability, skills and mindset of the individual. Here, you should explore:

  • What goal will best serve their personal growth and development?
  • How does this compare with the reality of their current ability?
  • What are the options to develop and improve?
  • What is an agreed way forward to turn this into a plan to be implemented?

Each section of the ‘GROW T’ model should be linked with a SMART objective. These are objectives that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timebound

Creating SMART objectives help team members stay focused and achieve their goals. These objectives should then be monitored over time and adjusted to reflect the individual’s progress and any unforeseen challenges.

Don’t forget, performance management needs to be a process of regular review and feedback. Don’t wait until your next 121 or the annual appraisal; look for opportunities to let your team member know how they are performing right now!

Found this article helpful?

If you’re a manager and would like to learn more about how to deliver 121s, the GROW T model and other performance management techniques, Coachical’s Management Excellence topic is for you.  Start your Coachical journey in Management Excellence today for just £60 (+VAT) with our My Coach package.

If you’re a business leader looking to improve your company’s approach to performance management, check out our business packages.  With Coachical, not only can your managers benefit from the Management Excellence topic, they can also use Coachical’s reporting and analytics as a performance management aid in their 121s.

With Coachical, your managers can see where their team members can improve their skills, track their team member’s learning journey and offer them extra support where they need it most. Contact us today to discuss how Coachical could help your business and set up a demo or free trial.

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