3 things to consider with managing performance
Managing performance plays a significant role in helping your business achieve its goals. The best-case scenario is to have both a highly productive business and engaged, happy employees. Logistically speaking, clear communication is enforced both ways and every employee who works for you would have set objectives, behaviours and standards that measure their performance.
Managing employee performance usually incorporates the following:
- planning work (a.k.a delegation)
- communicating goals and expectations
- measuring productivity and behaviour
- providing feedback.
As business leaders, you might already be familiar with setting up plans in advance, especially should issues do arise in your workplace. Let’s have a closer look at three important points about managing performance.
Communicating goals and expectations
Setting goals and expectations enable your employees to know what you expect of them. It also allows you to measure progress. If you don’t do this, it could lead your employees to be less productive and efficient.
As a business leader, you might be juggling a few things and setting up clear guidelines and performance goals might be pushed back in the priority list to meet deadlines. The formula to solve this is rather simple: align individual goals to your business goals. It sounds simple but it could get tricky if the communication is not crystal clear.
Consider the position description and contracts: are they updated and signed by both parties? Often goals and expectations are not detailed enough, causing misunderstanding and confusion. If there’s an HR expert in your team, go over these and have an honest conversation about where you might have fallen short or where the expectations might sound vague. Your employees can’t read your mind, but they want to perform well in their jobs.
When you get your team to work towards a common purpose, the sky is the limit!
The importance of feedback
Feedback is the wheel that moves performance forward, for both employees and business leaders. For it to be beneficial, it needs to be given in a timely manner. In our experience in HR consultancy, we’ve seen three types of feedback: positive, negative, or none (really!)
Positive feedback motivates your employees. It reassures them that they are meeting expectations and on the right track. Top tip: be specific about giving positive feedback and make sure you to are genuine about it.
Sometimes, an employee receives negative feedback to course correct. It also gives you the opportunity to establish employee training and development programs. In some cases, coaching might be the right approach. Everyone makes mistakes, and negative feedback is an opportunity away from improvement.
It might sound counter-intuitive, but as HR consultants, we’ve seen it all, including leaders who are silent about giving feedback. Perhaps they are too pre-occupied and do not have it as a priority. Unfortunately, this could backfire as it’s neither helpful nor efficient to the common goal. In fact, it could encourage poor performance, complacency or sends a message that you don’t care.
If you don’t provide prompt and relevant feedback, you may be missing an opportunity in improving your business performance. Sometimes it is simply overlooked because of hectic schedules in upper managerial levels and are postponed as a result. But what if it leads into poor performance?
Addressing poor performance
There will be times when you need to have difficult conversations with an employee due to poor performance. As a business leader, it is vital that you have a performance management system in place. It’s also important to note that there are different factors that may be classified as poor performance. It could be underperformance, breaching procedures/policies or bad behaviour. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Whilst not the easiest task required of a leader, it is vital to be managed promptly and consistently.
Poor performance in general does impact your business. Your excellent performers may become disengaged if they must carry the burden of poor performing team members. Tolerating poor performance should not be a part of your company culture, but it may be challenging to deal with, especially when you’ve been working together for a while.
In some situations, it could become rather challenging to keep the communication in a calm manner. To avoid a conflict situation escalating you might want to outsource an HR consultant to help. They are usually excellent communicators and experts in HR management, whilst providing neutral and non-biased assessments and advice.If you already have an internal HR person or team, did you know that HR consultants can also offer them support so that your HR department does not become overwhelmed, saving you time and money in the long run?
Need help with managing performance?
The success of managing employee performance lies in clearly defined processes and skill level. They don’t need to be complex to be successful. Our HR consultants are trained professionals who can help you establish a framework that is practical and specific to your business. They provide the tools to guide your leaders and impact your employee performance and engagement. At LMHR we’ve been partnering with business leaders to guide them in managing performance. The results speak for themselves. HR can be painful. We do the heavy lifting, so you can focus on running the show. Get help now. Contact us today