Jumpstart Your Performance Management

By Sara Pollock

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Say the words "performance management" in the office and see how your employees and managers respond. They will most likely wrinkle their noses in dislike. This is because many don’t understand the true goal and benefits of real and solid performance management processes.

Performance management is an ongoing process and strategy designed to benchmark and improve an employee’s work product and therefore the company. That’s why you hear so many pundits and thought leaders discussing the best way to build performance culture. Dislike it or not, people need this in their organizations to keep engagement levels high, fuel productivity and build a long-term scalable workplace.

Let’s Start with Understanding Performance Management Processes

Performance management needs to outline the purpose of the job, the job duties and any responsibilities. Sound like a job description? It is! You can use your job descriptions (provided they aren’t hopelessly out of date) to ensure your performance management processes are off to a good start.

Once you have these responsibilities in place, you need to find a way to clearly define goals and KPIs. Think about the desired outcomes assuming the employee performs at 100% of their capacity, fulfilling all responsibilities and duties to the fullest. Those are the goals you can start with.

Once you have the goals laid out, you can put them in order of importance. This will serve you well when directing employees in their daily activities. While you do this, speak to others in the department to determine how long certain activities should take, what shape they should look like when they’re done and what the general standards are.

Give Better Performance Reviews: Your Employees Need You Too!

Set a schedule for performance discussions and the formality of each. Will you have a daily informal conversation? Weekly roundtables? Monthly meetings? Formal quarterly or biannual performance reviews? Whatever you select, ensure it works for your company and employees.

  • 45% of HR leaders do not think annual performance reviews are an accurate appraisal of an employee’s work.
  • 9 in 10 managers are dissatisfied with how their companies conduct annual performance reviews.
  • 44% of employees surveyed felt that their manager or supervisor was being dishonest during their annual performance review.

Want More? Performance Review Best Practices: How To Implement Them In Your Organization

Don’t forget to maintain meticulous records. A performance management system can help you do this, but even recording meetings, maintaining employee files, with both positive and negative reviews, and notes can help maintain compliance and records. You should consider investing in performance management software if:

  1. Employees complain about your current performance system or process.
  2. Your current process or strategy does not have any impact on business results.
  3. Your HR team spends a lot of time organizing performance paperwork and knocking on doors to track down completed reviews.
  4. You have a manual process that involves printed documents and Excel spreadsheets.
  5. You’re experiencing low employee engagement and/or high turnover rates.
  6. Too many employees miss goals, deadlines or cannot consistently meet KPIs.
  7. You are concerned that your current process leaves room for risk when deciding on promotions, compensation plans or terminating an employee.

More: How Performance Management Software Helps You Become a Management Superstar

Feedback shouldn’t be limited to just managers and executives. Offer your employees the opportunity to contribute to their own goals and the measurement of their fellow employees with 360 feedback. Implement this at your company and watch your employees impact your performance culture like never before! Part of a successful performance management strategy means ensuring everyone is accountable, including managers throughout the organization. It’s important to collect feedback about management’s performance from employees, but that can be a difficult task.

Hear from Experts: Create a Successful Performance Management Process, Experts Weigh In

Constant coaching is one of the most underused forms of feedback and performance management. While many companies understand the importance of real-time feedback, very few implement even the simplest of coaching programs. These programs have the ability to help your employees visualize their goals, exceed their performance standards and build your company’s succession plan, all at the same time.

Managers should be discussing positive performance and areas for improvement regularly, even daily or weekly. These performance review discussions should emphasize critical points and give clear directions on how the employee can or should improve. 72% of employees surveyed felt that their performance would improve with corrective feedback.

With these tools, you can start building fantastic performance review processes.

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