When businesses prioritize performance management, they enjoy rich benefits and a positive impact across the entire organization.
Because employee performance management is a dynamic process that’s unique to each company, it can be hard to navigate. That may be why many organizations do the bare minimum and call it a day and others avoid it entirely. When performance management is handled poorly or is lacking, it negatively impacts employee productivity, morale, and engagement. But when effectively administered, it has the power to bring out the best in every team member.
In this article, we’ll address the basics of performance management and how you can use it to extract your employees’ full potential.
What is employee performance management?
Many people think of performance management as the quarterly or annual performance review. But that’s just one small piece of a much larger puzzle. Employee performance management is more than simply evaluating the individuals at your workplace. Rather, it is a system comprised of several components, which essentially follow the employee before they are even hired to their retirement or termination. It integrates company culture, employee development, goal-setting, and more to create a high-performing, ongoing work system. According to the Harvard Business Review, many leading organizations utilize the practice of continuous performance management and have seen remarkable improvements in employee engagement, productivity, and retention.
The performance management process is comprised of these basic elements:
Thorough and accurate job descriptions:
The duties, responsibilities, and qualifications for each position in your company should be documented in detail. A job description establishes precedent and gives guidance to both the employee and the employer. The job description and performance appraisal go hand-in-hand and should be reviewed with the candidate during the interview process and upon hiring. Job descriptions should also outline the specifications, which are the abilities an employee must have in order to perform the essential duties of the position. Periodically review and update job descriptions to ensure they are still relevant and accurate.
Give new hires the requisite information:
It’s important to set new employees up for success right from the start. This includes ensuring that are comfortable in the work environment and have the information needed to acclimate to their new surroundings. It often includes a new hire orientation presentation, provision of the employee handbook, and introduction of new employees to staff members.
To prepare employees to be successful, contributing members of the team, you should have discussions about performance standards, goals, objectives, and professional development. These processes should be outlined in the orientation and employee handbooks.
Managers need to establish regular feedback conversations with the people they supervise so that they can let them know how they’re progressing. This means letting people know on a regular basis when things happen that they are good or not good. All suggestions for improvement should be associated with the job description and detail where benchmarks, goals, and key performance indicators are not being met or how the employee’s performance could be improved in these areas. It is important to reiterate that performance management is not a formal written review. It is a process for providing continuous feedback so that people know if they’re meeting the objectives of their position. That may include tools like a review, as well as informational conversations, one-on-ones, and other communications.
This can take place in the form of a performance review but it must extend beyond that single tool. Tracking performance is on ongoing process of following up with employees who need improvement, as well as those who don’t. Start by establishing performance standards from job descriptions and communicating these expectations prior to hiring. Every organization is different, so put in place tracking tools and systems that will work best for your unique dynamics.
Want to create a remarkable employee experience?
Employees who feel strongly connected to the organization through ongoing performance management tend to be more fully engaged and invested. Some key benefits of employee engagement include stronger two-way communication, more growth and development opportunities, and enhanced employee trust.
Incorporate the following elements to bring out the best in every member of your team:
1. Productive one-on-ones
One-on-one meetings between managers and employees provide opportunities to understand the employee’s responsibilities and performance more deeply, including any challenges or obstacles they may be facing. They also give a platform to the employee to share feedback that can improve the work environment and their satisfaction. These meetings provide a space for the manager to set goals and expectations with the employee and track progress toward those goals, contributing to overall employee performance. One-on-one meetings foster a strong working relationship between the manager and employee and help the employee feel valued and supported, leading to higher engagement and motivation.
2. Infused mission and values
A strong mission statement provides employees with a sense of purpose and helps them align their efforts with the organization’s overall goals. Having a clear set of company values supports a positive workplace culture by providing a shared understanding of what is expected of employees. This can improve communication, teamwork, and collaboration, leading to higher job satisfaction and improved performance. At the organizational level, clearly defining your mission and values supports better decision-making and helps establish a consistent brand identity. This ultimately contributes to a positive reputation, better customer relationships, and improved overall performance.
3. Plentiful praise and recognition
We all want to be appreciated for our efforts. By recognizing and rewarding employees for their hard work and achievements, it leads to increased engagement, higher levels of performance, and improved overall productivity. Reward and recognition programs also help to establish a positive workplace culture by reinforcing desired behaviors and promoting a sense of pride and camaraderie among employees. At the organizational level, effective reward and recognition programs can deliver a valuable competitive advantage by helping to attract and retain top talent.
An effective performance management system benefits the entire organization and is the key to greater employee productivity and satisfaction. If you want to set your team members up for greater success, The HR Team is here to deliver all the support you need. Please contact us to learn more.
About The HR Team: Founded in 1996, The HR Team is a Maryland-based human resources outsourcing firm committed to developing strategic, customized solutions that respond to the unique needs and cultures of organizations of all types and sizes. Available as a one-source alternative to an in-house HR department or on an à la carte project basis, the company’s flexible service models address the full spectrum of HR needs that many organizations struggle to address. The HR Team helps clients achieve their highest level of success by providing value-driven human resources services that leave them time to focus on what they do best: directing business growth and profitability. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, the firm serves all of Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia. To learn more about The HR Team, call 410.381.9700 or visit https://www.thehrteam.com/.