Performance Management: Everything Employers Need to Know

Published On
September 28, 2023
Read Time
4.5 Minutes
OnBlick Inc

Efforts to keep their workforces satisfied and engaged have guided businesses to try out different methods and techniques of performance management. As a result of this rethinking, a lot of companies across the globe have put an end to the traditional performance appraisals. The changing business environments have made the world witness an evolution of performance management.

What is Performance Management?

Performance management is a process that helps managers monitor and evaluate employees' work. The goal is to make the employees perform to the best of their abilities. To cut a long story short, performance management is done to measure and improve the contribution of the employees to the organization.

The difference between performance management and performance appraisals

We all know how performance appraisals work. Employees complete their self-appraisals. Then, their managers review those, write performance appraisals, and send them to a higher-level manager for approval. It is often an individual session between the employee and the manager. Traditionally, these performance appraisals/ reviews have been conducted annually. However, myriads of companies have switched to shorter cycles (biannually, quarterly or monthly).

Performance appraisal is an important component of the performance management process. If done the right way, performance management is the easiest option for an organization to gain a better understanding of how to encourage, engage, and develop their teams.

A few tips for Effective Performance Management

To help your employees perform their best, you must ensure that they have a clear understanding of what they should and shouldn’t do. Provide your teams with enough information and help them follow the steps to successful performance.

When you can communicate clearly with your employees, you minimize the confusion. As you present your exact requirements and deadlines and demarcate their responsibilities, things become easier. See to it that you address their queries and concerns patiently. You may also follow up with them to see that your messages are properly understood. 

A lot of projects fail because they don’t have clear objectives. Creating clear project goals is crucial since it is the only way to help your employees ask the right questions and gather the requisite information to prioritize their tasks. When the goals and objectives are clear, it also boosts your employee engagement.

Yearly performance reviews have proved to be ineffective. Your employees require constant check-ins and continuous feedback. It’s high time employers realized that immediate feedback helps employees improve performance on-the-go, rather than waiting for their annual performance review.

Whatever your end goal is, offering constructive feedback to your employees should be your priority. When you provide feedback, your teams should feel that it is to help them do better. Always remember that feedback should be a two-way process. You must let your teams speak out because their voices are important too. During the onboarding process itself, you can ask your new hires how they’d like to receive feedback.

Several companies are making use of the 360-degree feedback approach. It requires everyone in a team to provide feedback to each other, instead of only managers giving feedback to employees.

Your employees need to keep enhancing their knowledge and skills. When you enable managers as trainers, the employees not only improve their performance, but managers also benefit from a better understanding of their current team and support them for better results. However, make sure that your employees don’t feel micromanaged.

As an employer, you are obliged to help your employees understand how important they are to you. Remind them that they are your driving force and their success means a lot to you. Making employees feel valued also helps to engage them more. Offering feedback does not suffice. You need to recognize and appreciate them for the good work. You can also seek their opinions on matters that concern your company. Being transparent helps build trust, enhance employer-employee relationships, and can also contribute to employee retention. Only when you have a caring culture and a positive sense of well-being, does introducing performance management make sense.

A performance management process that uses a forward-thinking approach will ensure that employees at all levels of the organization stay engaged. Traditionally, performance reviews have been looking at how the year went, what went well, and what didn’t go well. The only thing your employees can do is change what happens in the future and so this should be the focus of your performance conversations. It’s good to reflect on the past, but managers and employees should also spend time looking forward. Ask your employees what their goals are and what support do they need from your side to help them reach those goals.

Your performance review conversations don't just have to be about performance. They can address matters like career growth and development, alignment to organizational goals, key messages from management team, peer feedback, customer feedback, etc.

Key Takeaway

Businesses that still rely on old management practices should realize that they need to rethink their performance management. All that employers need to incorporate are more frequent feedback methods, clear demarcation of goals, objectives, and expectations, and better ways to make your employees feel valued. The right approach to performance management will contribute to better employee engagement and productivity, and thus do wonders for your business.

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