Successful performance management is a vital part of keeping your employees engaged and making the most of your workforce. Strong performance management can improve the performance of even your weakest employees, and help your strongest employees reach new heights.
When done right, performance management helps employees manage their own performance more effectively. Employees should be given freedom from micromanagement and allowed the autonomy to do things their own way. Use these five strategies to make it happen.
If you want to measure employee improvement, you need to know where you’re starting from. Note baseline measurements for key metrics. For example, if you manage a team in a call center, measure metrics like call volume and length, or customer feedback scores. You can use these data points to determine how much that person is improving, based on their metrics at some later point in time.
Regular, honest feedback is the soil in which performance grows. Employees shouldn’t be expected to wait all year for their performance review in order to get managerial feedback on their performance. They need feedback year-round, so they can fix issues before they have become habits ingrained over months.
Depending on what kind of business you run, it might be appropriate to give your workers daily feedback. If you run a restaurant, daily feedback meetings at which employees’ strengths and weaknesses are discussed and suggestions for improvement made may be appropriate to the pace at which things move in that kind of business. If you run a car dealership, maybe it’s more appropriate to track employees’ sales volumes and have conversations as needed with underperforming team members.
Don’t forget to give positive feedback, too. Consider giving bonuses to employees who perform well. A cash incentive can do a lot to encourage future good performance.
A good performance management software tool can make managing the performance of an entire team much easier. You can use the software tool to communicate with employees to share feedback and set performance and professional development goals. You can even have one-on-one meetings on the same platform. And, of course, you can track the data points related to each employee’s performance so you can easily understand how each team member’s performance is evolving over time.
You’ll always get better results when you come from a place of building on someone’s strengths, rather than trying to address their weaknesses. Figure out which areas of their role a given employee is succeeding in, and build on that success to extend the strong performance out to other parts of the person’s job. For example, let’s say a member of the sales team achieves a lofty sales goal. Encourage him or her to take the confidence and energy generated by that win to reach for other goals, like mentoring junior staff, or increasing his or her daily sales call volumes.
It’s easy to give employees feedback and even to help them make plans to incorporate that feedback into their work processes – but actually getting employees to follow through on those kinds of plans can be a lot harder.
Employees are more likely to follow through with their professional development plans if they can see how those plans fit into the bigger picture of the company. How does a given employee’s goals further the company’s goals? If an employee is struggling to work collaboratively with others, for example, explain that strong teamwork skills will make the workplace more productive and more enjoyable, and could help the employee move up in the company if that is their goal.
Understanding how their work fits into the company’s bigger picture can help employees feel that their jobs are meaningful. It can help them feel aspirational about their work and give them a sense of belonging that will boost their engagement at work and improve their performance. Giving your employees a clear reason to improve, one that inspires and motivates them, is one of the most powerful tools you can use to improve and manage performance.
Performance management is a vital part of any company’s success, and it’s the only way to get your employees to perform to their fullest potential. With successful performance management, employees will feel motivated to invest in their own professional development, and they’ll be more engaged and excited about doing a good job. In the end, good performance management benefits everyone.