What makes a great performance manager?

Sep 1, 2023 | Best Practice

great performance manager sat at desk

In today’s fast-paced work environment, the role of a performance manager is more crucial than ever. But what defines a competent performance manager? It goes beyond merely assessing numbers; it involves shaping behaviours, fostering development, and leading by example.


Here are the 10 key attributes that set top-tier performance managers apart:


1. Understands the Definition of ‘Performance’

True performance is multifaceted. While numbers and targets are tangible indicators, the nuances of team interaction, morale, and individual growth play a significant role. An adept performance manager can balance the tangible with the intangible. They ensure that metrics, while essential, don’t overshadow the holistic picture of a team member’s accomplishments and well-being.


2. Emphasises Individual Growth and Development

Every team member comes with a unique set of skills, aspirations, and challenges. A good performance manager acknowledges this diversity and prioritises personal development plans. By providing targeted training and consistent feedback, they ensure that each person evolves in their role. After all, a team’s success often hinges on the growth of its members.


3. Fosters a Growth Mindset

Believing in the potential for growth is pivotal. Managers who cultivate a growth mindset in their teams create an environment where learning from mistakes is the norm. By celebrating progress and valuing effort, they instil a culture where every challenge is a stepping stone, not a stumbling block.


4. Acts as a Role Model

Actions speak louder than words. A manager’s behaviour, work ethic, and attitude set the tone for the entire team. By embodying the principles they preach, these managers build credibility. Their authenticity and integrity make them leaders worth following.


5. Builds Trust and Open Communication

Trust is the cornerstone of any successful team. Performance managers who prioritise open communication ensure that everyone is on the same page. By creating a safe space for dialogue, such as 121 meetings,  they encourage team members to voice their ideas, concerns, and aspirations. Such transparency leads to better collaboration and collective growth.


6. Sets Clear and Realistic Expectations

A team thrives when it has a clear sense of direction. By setting achievable yet challenging goals, managers empower their teams to reach their potential. Consistent check-ins and flexibility in adjusting goals based on circumstances ensure that everyone remains aligned and motivated.


7. Recognises and Rewards Performance

Acknowledging hard work and dedication goes a long way. By celebrating successes and offering tailored rewards, performance managers motivate their teams to keep pushing boundaries. Regular feedback – both positive and constructive – ensures that team members feel valued and understand areas of improvement.


8. Demonstrates Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a game-changer. Managers who can navigate their emotions, while also being attuned to their team’s feelings, foster harmonious work environments. Their empathetic approach, especially during challenging times, builds deeper connections and promotes a culture of mutual respect.


9. Advocates for Work-Life Balance

Burnout is real. With increasing work pressures, striking a balance between professional and personal lives is essential. A good performance manager, who emphasise this balance, not only prioritise their team’s well-being but also ensure long-term productivity and commitment.


10. Continuously Self-Evaluates and Improves

The best managers understand that learning is a lifelong journey. They invest in their development, stay updated with industry trends, and are always open to feedback. By constantly evolving, they ensure that they remain effective and relevant in their roles.




In conclusion, a good performance manager is more than just a supervisor; they are mentors, leaders, and advocates for their team. By prioritising holistic performance, individual growth, and leading by example, they pave the way for both individual and collective success. As the workplace continues to evolve, these attributes will be paramount in shaping teams that are resilient, motivated, and high-performing.

PerformanceHub performance management software

Employee Performance Management Software

Get a feel for PerformanceHub with a demo

    You may also like: