Effectively Monitoring Performance – The 3 Fs

As a manager, once you have delegated an objective…

– What’s it like when you have no idea what progress is being made?
– What's it like when you find that a deadline's been missed?
– What’s it like when your team member regularly asks for help?

If you’re struggling with the answers to these questions, read on for 3 tips that will help you to make important decisions about monitoring the performance of your team members.

What is monitoring?

As a manager, once you have delegated a task or objective to someone, you need to be able to effectively monitor their progress and keep an appropriate eye on what they are doing. How effectively you do this will have a huge impact on someone’s motivation to do the task.

How do you determine an appropriate monitoring process?

Many managers use a one size fits all approach. For example, they have weekly or monthly 1-2-1s in their office with each individual. As you know, each individual is different, so doesn’t it make sense to monitor each individual differently?

To determine an appropriate level of monitoring it is helpful to use the 3Fs as a guide.


Frequency – What frequency of monitoring is appropriate?


Monitoring could be hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or even quarterly depending upon the needs of the individual. For example, someone new to their role would need monitoring more frequently than someone who’s more established in their role.

Formality – What formality of monitoring is appropriate?


This ranges from informal to formal, for example:


The level of formality required will depend upon the experience of the individual, generally less formal where the individual has higher skill and will. Another important consideration is the level of formality required by the organisation. Sometimes, a written report or presentation may be demanded by the situation. Examples of this include financial reporting, legal reporting, Health & Safety reporting, etc.

Function – What is the function, or purpose, of the monitoring?

There are many possible functions, for example:

1. Checking they are on track and achieving their objectives
2. Reviewing a performance improvement plan
3. Offering guidance or support
4. Keeping you updated on progress, e.g. the objective is business critical with senior management exposure.


So Frequency, Formality and Function should each be considered when designing an appropriate monitoring process. When considering the 3Fs, it is helpful to consider the Skill & Will of the individual. See our Blog for more on this.

Two personal examples:
I once had a very experienced and capable person in my team (High Skill) who did the minimum necessary (Low Will). I found that the best monitoring process was to drop by his desk a couple of times a day to let him know I was around and to ask a searching question. This had the effect of encouraging him to delve more deeply into the area of work.

Frequency – twice a day
Formality – drop by the desk
Function – to check up and to motivate.

At another time in my career I managed a new starter (Low Skill, High Will). We agreed a very structured induction where I met her weekly, for an hour, on a Monday morning to plan for the week and to offer support/guidance where necessary.

Frequency – weekly
Formality – meeting in my office
Function – planning and support.

How does Monitoring relate to Delegation?

Clearly explaining the monitoring process is an important part of the delegation process when expectations are set. See our Blog on Delegation. There is nothing worse than setting an objective but not following up on it. Conversely, checking on someone too frequently can also have an adverse impact. When you delegate, be clear about the 3Fs and stick to your agreement.

So, next time you delegate an objective be sure to agree an appropriate monitoring process with the individual and then stick to it!

What process do you use for monitoring performance? Let us know what works for you and what you think of this blog.

Look out for next month’s blog on The Games People Play.

Posted by Mark Procter

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