Managing employee performance has become an increasingly popular topic lately. Large and small businesses alike are taking a special interest in measuring and improving productivity and performance.
We analyzed several aspects of an effective performance management system and we extracted 10 must-dos that can significantly improve your day-to-day employee performance management.
Here we go:
1. Set clear expectations
Start this discussion as early as during your recruitment interviews. Set clear expectations on both sides.
What is your team’s performance standard, how does it translate for every employee based on their job description, how will you measure it and other critical aspects that are best discussed in the beginning of your work relationship.
Respect your employee and have him/her express their own expectations on the matter. Different individuals will have different performance levels, habits or needs.
2. Try performance coaching
This new technique for managing employee performance focuses on the direct relationships between employees and their direct supervisors.
It’s about individual attention that caters to an employee’s needs, allowing them to significantly improve their skills and aptitudes, and, consequently, increase their performance.
The way it works is that every couple of weeks, a manager will have some coaching sessions with his/her team member, to discuss how they can improve their performance, by focusing on the present and not on past actions.
3. Empower employees
Giving employees more and more autonomy, while providing the right tools and resources, will empower employees to push their own limits and become more productive.
Don’t fall into the micromanagement trap because you feel like you would know better or you need to stay in control.
Educate your team and invest the necessary time into growing them. That will not only lead to higher performance but also higher employee engagement and retention.
4. Get valuable feedback
Ask and encourage giving constructive feedback every step of the way. It may be uncomfortable sometimes, it may even become a routine, but it’s an essential process that helps you stay ahead of important performance drivers such as engagement, motivation and development.
Addressing every issue in its own time will ensure long-term performance and productivity and it will create a healthy working environment.
Little things matter and every small concern left unsolved can become a critical disengagement factor that leads to poor performance.
5. Set goals
Start with the end in mind. This goes for both an employees’ career path as well as for the overall business planning process.
Working without clear goals that can be easily tracked and evaluated is a recipe for disaster when it comes to employee performance.
Set individual performance milestones as well as general team milestones and make a habit out of checking them regularly.
6. Measure performance
Sometimes, getting to the finishing line blurs out how you got there, leaving you with no information to go on when you want to develop a more efficient performance strategy.
That’s what happens when you only measure performance at the end of the year, when you’re distracted by New Year’s plans or next year’s budget.
Adopt or create a performance measurement system that works well for you and your team and stick to it. Circle back to it every day/week/ couple of weeks tops.
7. Adapt and adjust
That system that everyone’s been using since 2 years ago when it revolutionized performance management for your company may not be working so well for your current needs.
Adapt or have your performance levels slowly die. Always be one step ahead and use the current performance results and the feedback received to adapt your system and make sure that it’s helpful instead of hell-pful.
8. Gather improvement suggestions
Back to feedback, the mother of all good things. Push for organizational innovation, using internal ideas and suggestions; listening to employees, getting feedback and committing to the improvement ideas that arise, like we talked about in our previous article.
9. Keep in mind the big picture
Remind employees how each of their actions influence the overall project or team objectives. Link them with your company’s business objectives so that you get a clear perspective on what your performance levels should be and why.
Never skip the “why”. People are not machines, they are driven by ambitions, desires and thoughts. Not having a clear perspective on their actions and the related impact affects their performance in a negative way.
10. Increase happiness at work
People perform better when they’re happier.
“Managers can help ensure that people are happily engaged at work. Doing so isn’t expensive. Workers’ well-being depends, in large part, on managers’ ability and willingness to facilitate workers’ accomplishments — by removing obstacles, providing help and acknowledging strong effort.”
Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer, Do Happier People Work Harder?
These are just some of the things you should start monitoring on a daily or weekly basis. But more importantly, you should find out what they key performance drivers in your team are and how you can manage them to get optimum results.