Improve staff performance

This article looks at two basic managerial tools which will help enhance the performance of their staff. GROW when it is a skills issue, AID when it is an attitude issue.

A successful manager will have the skills and the ability to improve staff performance.  This can be achieved using some very basic managerial tools and recognising how to motivate staff to be successful.

Skill v Attitude

Human beings have an incredible ability to learn and improve both new and existing skills.  However, they can only do so if they want to!  A manager therefore needs to identify why a staff member is not performing to their full potential.

If it is a skill issue, then all you need to do is to provide appropriate training and support.

However, if it is an attitude issue, it does not matter how much skill and support you put in place, you will not succeed.

You can manage skill but you need to challenge attitude.


How to manage a skill issue

To improve staff performance, one of the most popular models for managing skill, is the GROW model.

G = Goal – what needs to be achieved.

R = Realistic – is it realistic for the individual to achieve the goal in one step, or do you need to set a series of smaller steps to achieve the ultimate goal?

O = Options – How does the individual want to go about improving the skill to the level required. (Let them choose, then they have ownership of the choice).

W = Will.  Do they have the will?  This is easily measured and provides the evidence whether this is a skill or will issue. When reviewing the plan they set themselves, have they undertaken the actions agreed? Note that this is very different to whether they achieved the goal.

If they completed the actions but did not achieve the goal, then thank them for their hard work, remotivate them and ask them to choose another option on what they are going to do next to achieve the goal.

In other words, it is OK to fail, provided they have tried.  This is because if they continue to try, they will at some point succeed.  For example, have you ever met an adult who has the physical capability to walk but never mastered the skill of walking!  However, learning to walk is not easy; and we all failed many times….but with the right attitude, we all got there in the end.

If however, they didn’t even complete the actions they agreed to, then this is an attitude issue.  E.g. ‘I know I said I was going to do that action but I have been so busy/had another priority/worked hard on something else/helped somebody else instead’ – in other words an excuse.


Stop trying to manage skills, challenge attitude instead.


How to challenge attitude

The best model for this is AID.

A = ask what action did you agree to when we last discussed this?


I = What is the impact on  :

– you, by not completing your agreed action?

– me, after I have invested time in you and you have not undertaken what you said you was going to do?

– your long term future with us, if you cannot be trusted to do what you say you are going to do?

Use an impact question as appropriate to get a response but not too tough to get a grievance against you!  The purpose of impact is to get a reaction – to achieve a change of attitude.


D = So what are you going to do about it?



To improve staff performance, use GROW to manage Skill, AID to challenge Attitude.

GROW will resolve the skill deficit, provided they keep trying. (Edison took 100 attempts to invent a light bulb that worked).

AID should resolve the attitude deficit.  However, if it fails then that would suggest the individual is not right for your business.


Remember, to be a successful Manager, you need to improve staff performance.


Here at Unlock Staff Potential, we are committed to supporting and training your staff to ensure they have the appropriate skills to help your business flourish. Contact us for a bespoke training quotation.