27 June 2020

4 Simple Steps to Win at Performance Management

HR Success Guide
Author: Liliana Chitnis (Naman HR)

Performance management and reviews, both formal and semi-formal, are conducted at least twice a year. And according to the global insight and technology company, CEB, which is now a subsidiary of Gartner, a manager spends 210 hours and an employee 40 hours in a year on performance management.

But if you ask employees if they find it helpful for their professional growth, the answer in most cases would be a no.

Traditional performance reviews, instead of focussing on the performance of the employees over a period of time, focus on the recent events. And this leads to negative consequences.

♦ Increased employee turnover due to inefficient performance analysis and poor appraisal

♦ Employee demotivation and reduced productivity

♦ Conflicts between management and the employees

A modern performance management framework, on the other hand, increases the transparency, efficiency, and productivity within the organization. Also, to best leverage the review process and ensure the professional growth of your employees, you can seek help from performance management professionals.

Here are a few steps you must follow to ensure effective performance management:

1. Set the Right Goals – All the hours spent in reviewing performance can be put to great use if the Managers help employees set goals that they would be expected to meet before their next performance review.

However, setting the right goals is often a challenge. Employees never feel motivated to meet unrealistic and irrelevant goals. And this affects their productivity, and hence, the overall growth of the organization.

Follow this accepted framework – SMART – to set the right goals:

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Achievable/Attainable

R – Results-Oriented/Realistic/Relevant

T – Time-Bound

The SMART framework has proven results since it allows you to create realistic goals, create time-bound goals so that the progress can be tracked, and create result-oriented goals.

2. Create a Performance Plan – Performance planning is setting an actionable plan for the employees during the performance review. An effective performance plan helps employees efficiently achieve the goals they are expected to meet since it consists of:

♦ Goals and sub-goals

♦ Priority list

♦ A set of milestones

♦ Job expectation

♦ Job description

Some time spent in creating a clear and detailed plan with the employee will save the organization many hours of rework. Moreover, performance planning has many other benefits including regular monitoring of performance against the goals, identifying resource needs in advance, and identifying and removing roadblocks early.

3. Start Goal Management – Performance review isn’t about telling employees where they lack; it’s about helping them improve and grow professionally. Hence to create a year-round review system, start goal tracking and management after you create a performance plan. This way, your employees will know that you are committed to helping them evolve continuously. Moreover, regular goal tracking would help you:

♦ Provide feedback as and when needed

♦ Tackle obstacles and create a plan for missed guidelines

♦ Predict future roadblocks by analysing present challenges

      4. Give Feedback – One of the most important factors that lead to effective performance management is timely employee feedback. It helps businesses act more like a learning and growth agent for its employees. Hence, it is important to set milestones and schedule feedback meetings after every short-term goal is achieved.

Here are a few benefits of regular feedback:

♦ It helps employees maximize their potential

♦ It helps in formulating effective recovery strategies

♦ It ensures continued learning

♦ It reduces the scope of future errors

Since the performance management process can get complicated and confusing, caution is advised. So, when implementing change, ensure that you have professional support because the key to getting performance management right is effective leadership skills since it’s the human factor that influences the outcome of performance management.

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