Performance Management Process Best Practices to Live By
Without a solid performance management process, how can your business thrive? Here are some best practices to live by in order to sustain growth.
While employees who leave a company might bite their tongue when they’re walking out the door, the biggest reason many leave is because of management. Even the best performing managers might be doing serious harm to your organization. If you leave your performance management process the way it is, you could be losing great talent through bad practices.
Here are five practices to live by to improve performance management and retain your best employees.
1. Simplify The Feedback Cycle
When you’re trying to make it easier for your customers and your staff to communicate with you, putting up barriers to feedback will frustrate them. If anything, remove barriers where you can. If you put up barriers, people will sooner abandon you than to deal with your hurdles.
If you’re still doing the annual performance review, you’re living behind the times. You need to be able to give and receive feedback more frequently than that. At the end of every major production cycle, there should be a moment of triage afforded to everyone.
Rather than having people try to remember problems that they had, put in place real-time feedback tools. When feedback can come in more often, whether by managers, co-workers, or customers, you’ll work more efficiently. Upset or conflicted staff members will let their frustrations guide their decision making.
Try a software platform that will allow everyone to get immediate feedback. Make calls for constructive criticism often as possible so that you can afford actionable insights. Aggregate your data and you’ll be able to have big-picture conversations about where your company is heading.
Hire someone to create visuals for your data so you can communicate issues more easily.
2. Learn Better Ways To Communicate
On top of dealing with the medium for your feedback, you should also find ways to improve the content of your conversations. Change the way that your managers speak to their employees. Performance shouldn’t be measured in the old-fashioned methods, based on sales and statistics.
You need to build a business model that looks toward growth and expanding your business. If people have lots of great ideas but aren’t quite as good at working with some of your more stick-in-the-mud clients, see if you can foster their ideas.
When you offer frequent feedback to employees, you need to be talking about how employees can see their role in the company. Everyone needs to know the part they play relative to everyone else in order to see how they could grow to feel connected to the day to day activity.
If your employees see the impact that they’re having, they can make decisions that will make their workday better as well as those of everyone around them.
3. Start From the Bottom
If you have a top-down approach to giving and receiving feedback, you’re going to perpetuate that there’s a hierarchy of information. When you reverse your approach, you can assure your staff that you understand that there’s a lot that happens in their world. The people who are in the trenches on a daily basis understand many of the changes that need to happen to make life at work easier.
For companies that have all of their basic organizational goals met, it’s necessary for employees to feel empowered to take things on. When they have ownership over their goals as well as where they set them, they will feel more empowered and confident.
Over time, they’ll learn how to pivot their goals to align with the larger objectives of the company. Once they feel like they’re an important part of the way that the company works, they’ll commit to making your workplace more efficient.
4. Train Your Managers Right
If you want to improve the performance management process, you need to start by reforming managers, not your staff. Managers need to understand how their role has changed and how they set the tone for employee performance. If your managers are well trained, they’ll be able to motivate employees correctly.
Training and leadership development can help employees recognize their place in your organization. This training should include ways for employees to direct their goals toward what you need as a business. While you should leave room for your employees to “make it their own”, having them working every day to support your goals should be the aim of the process.
Managing performance shouldn’t try to force employees to exactly what you want them to do and to compromise their own interests. It should help them to find a place in your organization.
Managers need to see their role as something akin to a coach, trying to get the best performances out of employees every day. It’s more than checking in with them every year and scolding them for mistakes. There should be a space for day to day support.
5. Reorient Your Culture
Beyond just meeting the most basic business goals, you should be trying to build a strong culture that you don’t have to maintain. Good company culture lives within the bones of an organization. Everyone working at a place will have an intuitive understanding of what their goals should be.
As workplaces are dispersed and more complicated than ever, members of your company might not realize what kind of impact they could have. IF they’re not sitting in your office every day, they might fail to understand how their digital persona or online relationship can affect the workplace.
Make your culture, online and offline, work every day to improve performance. One of the ways to do this is to make it safe for your employees to be more straightforward and honest with one another.
Performance Management Process Can Always Be Tweaked
Even if you optimize your performance management process for today, there will be changes that you need to make for the future. If you don’t take give your employees a place in how you assess their performance, they’re going to leave for a more forgiving and supportive environment.
If you worry that you might be turning off talented applicants, start by figuring out who the hell wants to work for you.