Performance Management

Performance management has always been part of Adults in Scouting. Recently it has become more widely used and is now recognized as a necessity in managing, encouraging, and supporting adults in the Movement.

It provides adults with a regular opportunity to review and reflect on how well they are performing their role, to mutually agree with the support they may need to do better in the future, and to do so in an informal relaxed way.  Essentially, performance management is a continuous, comprehensive, and natural process of the management of adults that clarifies mutual expectations and the support they require.

Too often any form of performance management is seen as an onerous, frightening experience, something to dread and avoid. In Scouting our performance management processes are friendly, supportive, non-threatening and relaxed, in essence, a chat or discussion over a cup of coffee.

For the effective management of Adults in Scouting, a review of what has been done is necessary for a better understanding of what has been learned and achieved.  It is critical to know and understand what adults are doing and how and why they are doing it, to help them develop greater self-sufficiency in their role or function.  Ultimately, they become responsible for their own development and performance. 

Three-phase process

Performance Management begins with a three-phase process:

  1. Action Planning – the adult’s contribution is planned and considered 
  2. Developing and Training – the adult develops the competencies and proficiency they need for their role or function, with training and support 
  3. Performing their Role – the adult undertakes and performs the tasks of their new role or function

This also emphasizes the support role required of those directly managing other adults and their teams, who need to facilitate the process as advisers and mentors rather than implementing formal appraisals. Performance Management focuses on planning for the future and supporting the individual.

Improving the performance of adults and teams is critical and essential for successful Scouting. It is a way of getting better results by understanding and managing performance within a framework of mutually agreed goals, standards, and competency and proficiency requirements. 

Performance Management also has the added benefit of increasing the NSO’s understanding of what needs to be achieved by adults and clarifies expectations in terms of roles and responsibilities, accountabilities, skills, and expected performance. This also helps increase adult motivation and enables the individual to take responsibility for developing their own competencies and contributing to the Movement. 

Sometimes the outcomes are not what was expected and often we tend to infer they directly correspond to an adult’s performance.  Therefore, it is important to differentiate performance from outcomes. The outcomes are the result of an individual’s performance, but they are also under the effect of other influences. Given this, there are more factors that determine the outcomes than the behavior and performance of an adult in their role. 

See also:

Conducting Appraisal interview

Further External Reading

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