Performance Management

20th June 2016

When most people hear “performance management”, the typical reaction is someone is not performing. It is equally as important to reward high achievers and recognise when your people go above and beyond as it is to address an employee who is not performing. Performance management done well clearly demonstrates a link between what an individual does on a daily basis and the objectives of the business.

The goals of performance management include:

  • Alignment of employees to the goals and values of your business, allowing employees to understand how their actions and achievements link with the business goals and objectives
  • Increase communication and relationships between people and their Manager regarding their performance, their development needs and their achievements
  • Providing a more objective and consistent process for decisions about reward and career opportunities
  • Provide people with a picture of their short term achievements as well as a frame of reference for their long term objectives
  • Recognition of high performance and high potential employees
  • Measuring progress being made towards business objectives
  • Evaluating performance, identifying improvement and defining new objectives
  • Correcting behaviour of under- performing employees

Common Performance Mistakes

  • Only evaluating performance once a year – it then becomes a big task
  • Surprising the employee with what the managers writes or feedback that is given – it’s important to provide feedback as it occurs – both positive and constructive
  • Not encouraging involvement during the appraisal process from the employee – the manager does all the talking and doesn’t seek input from the employee
  • Not documenting performance during the year and then trying to remember it all at once
  • Writing conclusions rather than reporting specific examples – it’s crucial to be specific with examples rather than making general statements
  • Evaluating from personal factors and biases rather than on performance
  • Inconsistencies – actual performance factor rating vs achievements and/or written comments – it’s important to ensure that if you use a rating scale they are clearly defined – what does “meets expectations” really mean?
  • Allowing ineffective behaviour to continue and then deciding to take action – sending mixed messages that it was OK up until now, but now it’s not and here’s a warning

Why Do You Need to Manage Performance?

In the best-selling book Drive by Daniel Pink, he has identified 3 things that motivate and drive people – Mastery, Sense of Purpose and Autonomy. An effective performance management process provides these 3 things:

  1. The opportunity for employees to do what they do well – Mastery – by being able to measure and track goals and objectives
  2. Sense of Purpose – aligning individual goals and objectives enables employees to make a contribution to the business
  3. Ability to get on and perform their role in their way – by being clear about the outcomes and expectations, employees can use their own unique skills and abilities to achieve them – Autonomy

For the business

Your people are your greatest resources and performance management is how you manage them and each other’s expectations. The benefits of getting performance management right include:

  • Increased productivity – when people know what’s expected of them then can get on and do their job instead of having to check in before they do things, they know what they can and can’t do. They understand their levels of authority and accountability
  • Alignment of goals to overall business objectives – knowing how what they do on a daily basis contributes to what the business does allows people to see that they are make a contribution and has purpose

For your employees

They are clear about what’s expected of them. They know and are able to measure whether they are doing a good job and are focused on the right things. For a large number of employees, they are unsure what’s expected of them, they turn up and think they’re doing a good job but they may not be focused on what you think is important. By having clear goals and objectives, it’s very clear whether they are or are not meeting the expectations of the position.

If you don’t have a clear performance management process in place it will reduce the productivity of your employees and the business because

  • Employees may be “busy” but not focussed on the important activities
  • Other employees will mimic bad behaviour. If they see that the poor behaviour is not being addressed, they too will follow suit
  • Leaders will lose credibility when bad behaviour is not dealt with.

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About-KerrieCanningHRGuest Writer Kerrie Canning is the co-founder of HR Advice Online

This article featured in the June Edition of Paeds Biz