To many, modern performance management process may mean fairly straight forward & mundane – that’s what managers do, right? Unfortunately, most supervisors seem to have missed the memo on that one. According to Forbes, almost 80% of knowledge workers in the United States are not managed well. They do not feel encouraged, supported, or motivated to do a good job.
A major component behind flawed performance management is annual performance reviews. It is high time companies abandon this process, for a simple reason:
Annual Reviews Don’t Work
Annual reviews are not enough to help your company be at its competitive best. They are insufficient at providing an accurate assessment of employee performance & there is no follow-up. The resulting data is not strong enough to objectively take decisions about the employee’s lifecycle in the organization.
Besides, annual reviews do not help your company handle your employees’ different needs. In addition to professional growth, individuals also have their own personal goals. They need varying levels of support & guidance throughout the year.
Finally, the annual review process is not very engaging. Keep employee check-ins at a shorter and more frequent cadence. Once a year reviews cannot inspire or motivate individuals for a long term. Probably a few weeks at best. This encouragement is however possible by increasing the effectiveness of the performance management process.
Defining Performance Management
Performance management is not an annual review or measurement tool. It is a communication process that takes place between supervisors and employees. Performance management helps clarify business objectives. You can communicate expectations about employee performance through regular meetings, appraisals, and reviews. In turn, this helps employees leverage their skills & capabilities.
Understanding the Process
Remember, performance management is not one specific tool per se. It is a process and it can take on many different configurations. The best choice is the one that works for your company. However, there are some characteristics that the best performance management processes share.
A. Set Goals and Expectations
Start by establishing goals and expectations for your employees. This starts with clear and specific job descriptions. Outline every responsibility that the individual will have to undertake. When you hire an employee for any role, they should receive a copy of these requirements. Next, have the manager or supervisor take time to discuss these responsibilities with the new hire. This way, they can explain what those activities would look like in practice. Afterward, establish a clear time frame to meet these goals. Educate them on the importance of these initiatives and how it may affect or create an impact on the overall team progress.
B. Develop Talent and Abilities
Once you have set expectations for your employees, look at what makes each person unique. Everyone has varying degree of talent and abilities. Ideally, you want the people you hire to be able to fulfill those duties with as little effort as possible. For instance, you wouldn’t hire someone who has problems making eye contact to be a greeter in a store.
That said, even the most perfect hires still need guidance. You can help your employees develop those talents further. Set up a support system where individuals can freely seek help from their colleagues as well as managers whenever required. This is especially beneficial to ensure every team member has equal opportunity to improve and perform well.
C. Provide Regular Assessments
Assessments should happen regularly. You do not need formal write-ups every time, but you should keep a record of your coaching activities. This will help you see where your team is lacking and notice if there is a trend.
Employees benefit when you provide regular assessments. Their hard work and efforts to consistently improve themselves are clearly visible to managers. Regular coaching sessions also give them the chance to discuss how they can be effective.
D. Recognize Good Work
Regular assessments also give you the chance to recognize good work consistently. Many people are motivated and encouraged by a simple “well done.” The more your managers do that, the better. So, design the performance management process in a way that allows and encourages managers to recognize good work.
Recognizing good work goes beyond verbal acknowledgement. Reward top performers and let the rest know how everyone who performs well will also be eligible for such rewards. Introduce a rolling trophy that changes hands every few weeks. Everyone has an equal chance of winning it, provided they put in the required efforts.They can be extra motivating because they are so public.
E. Career Development
As you assess employee performance and discuss ways to improve, remember career development. Engagement and performance tend to go through the roof when you provide the means for an employee to become a better version of themselves. You can use that tendency to your advantage.
One of the biggest things employees want is the chance to move up and develop their skills. A good performance management process makes that happen. It identifies when those workers are ready to step up. The right process can also earmark those with potential for bigger things. In turn, you can use your coaching sessions to help these people develop their skill sets and move up.
Benefits of Performance Management
If it sounds like it setting up an efficient performance management process requires extra efforts, it does. Although the benefits are well worth these efforts let’s go over each one in turn.
- Documentation: Performance management processes aid in documenting employee performance. They keep track of employee behavior and coaching.
- Employee Decisions: Performance management also helps you take informed decisions based on objective information and without any biases.
- Consistency: When done correctly, performance management is extremely consistent as well. It provides a regular way of evaluating your workers. The system is fair and ensures your workers get the same treatment in each coaching session.
- Training: Performance management can inform training as well. Some of your workers may need extra help in particular functions. Regular reviews will let you spot those issues.
- Motivation: Plus, when you use performance management techniques, it clarifies employee motivation. Fewer employees disengage.
- Productivity: They know exactly what they need to do to be successful. Productivity tends to increase as well as morale.
Performance management can help your company transform its operations. With regular coaching and assessments, your employees will perform better. Productivity will also be higher.
Adding performance management is a win-win, so what are you waiting for? Start applying performance management concepts in your business today. UpRaise can help you organize and streamline your efforts.