Performance management is no longer just about improving an individual employee’s performance. The vast majority of leaders at our clients tell us that performance management is a critically important lever to drive business performance. They are right; done well, setting, exposing, managing and improving performance can and should have a huge impact on an organization’s success.
Though many organizations are changing the way they implement performance management processes, research shows that almost three-quarters of those surveyed believe that more change is still needed. The question you need to ask is whether or not your performance management system is doing what you need it to do to meet your business challenges in a way that aligns with your corporate culture and talent management strategy.
Here are a few guidelines to help you decide if and how you should adapt your performance management approach to better meet current needs.
- Don’t just manage performance…improve it.Maintaining the status quo just doesn’t cut it these days. Organizations, and their individual employees, need to constantly learn, adapt and improve in order to stay competitive. This requires consistent and targeted performance coaching so that every learning opportunity is leveraged for better and more sustainable performance.
- Individualize the system.|Performance management becomes real only when it directly applies to individual, team and organizational performance. The better you can tailor your approach to the way an individual learns best, the more effective your performance coaching will be. Know what critical few behaviors you want to improve that matter most. Share behavioral goals with your employees and co-create a performance plan for personal development that includes an effective way to monitor progress, learn as you go and reward performance.
- Keep the process transparent.There should be no secrets here. Performance expectations and exposure should be clear and transparent to all. Though the goals are likely very different for each employee according to their job description, each team member should know what others on their team are striving for and where they stand. With so many businesses depending upon collaboration and teamwork to get things done, teams should know how and how well each member is contributing to the overall goal.
- Agree upon what high performance looks like.Behavioral and performance goals should be set with the end result in mind based upon what specifically constitutes high performance for each and every job. As individuals and their teams move in the right direction, take a break to acknowledge and celebrate the progress. This way your employees will feel more appreciated, encouraged and engaged in the process.