Employees look to management for direction and leadership, and it is management’s responsibility to provide this guidance by:
- Identifying performance expectations.
- Providing encouragement and developmental opportunities.
- Offering coaching and counseling that improves current skills and teaches new ones.
- Carrying out frequent performance evaluations.
Managing Employee Performance
Performance management goes much further and deeper than the traditional annual review. It involves regular communication between management and employees that is focused on job performance as well as direction and support for meeting or exceeding expectations.
Employees who are given the tools they need to develop greater skills are more engaged and help your business achieve its goals. Done correctly, performance management can have a huge impact on departmental productivity and your organization’s overall success.
To implement performance management in your organization, start by having managers set and monitor goals and tasks for each employee. Then follow-up with an evaluation of how well objectives are being met. Tips for doing so include:
- Setting goals for the upcoming fiscal year.
- Working with employees to develop realistic goals.
- Limiting goals to what is truly achievable.
- Reviewing employee performance every quarter and taking steps to address any underperformance areas.
- Establishing communication channels that offer feedback, praise, and acknowledgment.
- Awarding increased compensation when targeted goals are met.
Coaching and Feedback
Coaching helps employees address complex problems and attain significant goals in a highly personalized way. It’s an ongoing process that promotes individual responsibility, enhances growth and performance, and helps build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships. What does a successful coaching process consist of? It:
- Builds trust through open and honest feedback that is based on respect.
- Defines areas that need improvement in a non-judgmental way.
- Encourages employees to make the mental switch from compliance to commitment and creates a plan to help them do so.
Feedback is used to give employees the information they need to perform at a maximum level. Delivered in an atmosphere of open communication, feedback also gives managers insight into the effectiveness of their own performance. In addition, it offers employees concrete suggestions on how to improve performance.
What a Good Performance Management System Looks Like
Performance management is a year-round process that makes managers and employees alike more productive and effective. All performance expectations should be able to pass the SMART test.
Performance management succeeds when there is open and honest communication, employee involvement, and mutual trust and cooperation. Employees are far more likely to commit if they feel valued and receive candid feedback on what they need to do to continue good or improve mediocre performance.
Be sure your feedback strikes a balance between strengths and concerns, addresses issues, and is focused on problem-solving, not blame. Finally, don’t forget to celebrate and reward achievement. Doing so inspires and motivates your employees continued commitment to your organization’s growth and success.