This is the first post in a three-part series exploring performance management best practices through the eyes of HR, managers and employees.
Read part 2 - How to Engage Employees in Coaching Conversations
Read part 3 - How Employees Can Prepare for Performance Conversations
You know the expression, “All good things must come to an end”? Well, it’s not so true in some cases.
Take performance management for example. It’s good and, when done right, it should never come to an end. In fact, to be effective and yield results for your business, performance management must be a year-round process with no end – like an infinity scarf.
Yet recent research from the Brand Hall Group reveals that something is amiss, specifically, that:
- Performance management often is inconsistent and ineffective
- Managers and employees view the annual performance evaluation as a negative experience
- 70% of companies state that performance management is average or below average
If you don’t count your company as part of the 70%, there could be ways to enhance your performance management process for great results. Here are some tips that can help.
Entrench performance management in your culture
For ongoing performance management to become a reality, it must be intentionally built into your culture. It must be part of everyday life, not just an isolated activity with a stop and a start date.
As the HR professional in your organization, here are some steps you can take to ensure that performance management and feedback is engrained in your organization.
- Provide manager training – Give your managers the training on how to give feedback on performance. Ensure learning is practical, with hands-on exercises or even role-playing to help managers get comfortable with these skills. Companies tend to see the best results when this training is done at least once per year, to refresh and/or deepen everyone's skills.
- Encourage ongoing dialogue – Reinforce to managers the importance of having frequent, ongoing dialogue with their employees in addition to the formal reviews that happen once or twice a year. Many organizations find it helpful to conduct quarterly "mini-reviews" to help keep performance management top of mind, but you can find other ways to engrain this management best-practice in your culture.
- Offer the right tools – Online performance journals and one-to-one meeting tools can help managers capture in-the-moment feedback and discuss performance at regular intervals. Journal notes can include goal progress, recognition from other managers and co-workers, issues that are preventing work from getting done – or any other hot topic for the week.
Link employee performance to corporate performance objectives
Hitting certain productivity and performance numbers are usually top (or come close to top) of the list of for companies. Meeting these targets requires employees to be focused on productivity and performance. And, what better way to drive this focus than aligning employee performance goals to organizational goals.
By ensuring every employee's role and goal are tied to the organization's overall strategy, not just to their manager's success, you can rationalize conflicting priorities, based on a higher level common goal. Goal alignment helps to ensure that everyone's individual contributions move the organization forward in the right direction – whether it’s greater productivity, higher sales or any other overarching goal.
Automate your performance management process
Performance management software can go a long way to helping your organization automate, simplify, and streamline the activities used to manage employee performance year round, including regular performance reviews.
In fact, cloud-based performance management software lets you give employees and managers fingertip access to all the information they need, at every step of your process, including:
- Organizational goals so they can more easily align employee goals and give them a context for their work
- Competencies and their definitions so they can build organizational strengths and culture
- Predefined feedback and coaching tips managers can insert into a review and personalize, to speed up the writing process and improve the quality and consistency of feedback
- Past performance appraisals and ratings to guide current discussions and help them chart progress
- Feedback, recognition and coaching received from others throughout the year
If you’re not sure where to start in selecting a performance management solution, read the white paper, Selecting a talent management suite: Experts share the real story.
If ongoing performance management is already a reality in your organization, you know how powerful it can be. Maybe you’ve even have some words of wisdom to share with us on the subject. If you do, we’re listening!