Boosting performance: The value of effective performance management strategies10 Apr 2023
Almost anyone who’s worked in a corporate environment will be familiar with performance management, whether they’ve been through or carried out the process (or both). Managing employees’ performance may seem simple enough at first glance. It might sound as straightforward as just ticking off boxes on a checklist and giving a few words of feedback.
But, taking shortcuts won’t result in effective employee performance that drives real business results. In this article, we’ll walk you through fundamental performance management concepts and the advantages of adopting powerful performance management strategies. We’ll also outline some necessary tools to help your organisation achieve its goals.
What is performance management?
At its most basic, performance management is the process of ensuring that individual employees, teams and/or departments are meeting their targets. It is and must be an ongoing exercise that happens all year round.
Managers revisit organisation goals and measure all completed tasks against them to see whether aims are being reached. This is usually done by assessing work according to set criteria. The results are then communicated to the relevant people, and they’re told what’s being done right and which areas need improvement.
Why is effective performance management important?
It’s critical that supervisors engage with performance management beyond just circling an option in a “yes/no” box or choosing a number out of 10. Managers must go several steps further by deeply thinking about the organisation’s goals and how to achieve them.
Thorough feedback is vital, and not only must it outline what needs to be improved, but it also needs to explain how to go about enhancing performance. It’s not enough for a manager to say “X needs improvement” — they must also provide tangible and actionable ways to boost performance. Reviews should also include timelines and benchmarks.
What are the benefits of productive performance management methods?
Organisations see true transformation and improvements when performance management isn’t approached as just a routine task to scratch off the to-do list but rather as an opportunity to discover useful insights.
Workforces that are given clear, constructive criticism and guidance tend to have greater job satisfaction and be more motivated and engaged. They’re more invested in their work and likely to make an active effort to improve because they know how to go about improvement and they want to do better. This leads to enhanced productivity, higher employee retention and an increased bottom line.
How can you enhance your organisation’s strategies?
There are several approaches to achieving desired results that are best used in combination with each other. Below are four primary techniques that can be used to measure and improve upon individual, team and overall organisational performance:
- Hold regular check-ins at an individual, team or departmental level to discuss any potential roadblocks and if some resources need to be adjusted. One-on-one meetings can be utilised as coaching sessions, too.
- Set clear expectations at the beginning of every task and explain the reasoning behind them. Give employees a chance to ask any questions, and get back to them before they begin working if you don’t immediately have the answers at hand.
- Establish metrics that staff members’ performance will be measured according to, and make these clear to all team members. Again, you should verbalise why and how you’re choosing to rate success.
- Prepare deadlines to guide all employees along the project pipeline. These can be a key indicator of whether a worker’s performance is up to scratch and if they need additional assistance or training.