Top 10 Performance Management Tips and Techniques

The success of your business delivering against its goals and objectives centres on the ongoing performance of your employees. Performance Management can be cumbersome, these top 10 tips and techniques can help navigate your way.

The Job Description

A Job Description (JD) is your super tool, and its role shouldn’t be underestimated when managing performance.

An accurate and up-to-date JD outlines the required duties and responsibilities, skills, and experience for each position. Avoid general or aspirational content. An employee with a clearly defined position is one that knows what is expected of them and allows you to hold them accountable.

Your end game may evolve over your business lifecycle. To be effective, your program needs to have a clear goal in sight that supports the achievement of your business objectives and provides a return on investment!

Goals and Expectations

Individual employee goals and expectations that are aligned to your business goals are a surefire way of creating a workforce who is working towards a common purpose.

When establishing goals, try to gain input from your employees. Ensure they are well defined, measurable, relevant, realistic and timebound.

For larger projects, break down the goals into manageable milestones so progress can be assessed. Aim to include expectations – reinforce a focus on not only what they need to do but how they do it.

Meaningful Feedback

Feedback is essential –it’s the wheel that moves performance forward and plays a fundamental role in employee engagement.

Make an impact by providing feedback that is specific, immediate, constructive, and meaningful. Positive feedback motivates and provides support. Negative feedback should focus on improvement and not destroy confidence.

Even if an employee doesn’t vocalise it, they do crave it.

As a leader, be comfortable to ask for feedback on yourself. It may be awkward at first but consider the benefits of building trust and gaining insight.

Performance Review Framework

It’s a significant process with tools (or system/software) that are consistent and transparent for your leaders and employees to use when evaluating performance.

This process occurs at times of the year and it helps by:

  • providing clear expectations and support
  • promoting meaningful feedback
  • tracking progress regularly and makes necessary adjustments to ensure relevance
  • recognising and rewarding good performance.

Regular Performance Discussions

Performance should be discussed on a regular basis, not limited to a particular event that way there are no surprises.

Regular discussions asssist a leader to:

  • reinforce expectations
  • provide support and feedback in real time
  • make necessary adjustments
  • resolve concerns or workshop ideas
  • celebrate achievements.

To get the most out of them, have a simple format in place. Your employees will be required to then evaluate their performance and assess any support they need.

Supportive Culture

A focus on ongoing performance requires establishing a culture that celebrates and rewards high performers. One that creates opportunities for them to grow, advance in their careers and doesn’t tolerate poor performance.

Poor Performance Framework

If your aim is to avoid your high performers from carrying the burden of poor performers and becoming disengaged in the process, then it is essential to establish a shared understanding of what signifies poor performance and how it is to be managed.

Managing performance issues (a.k.a taking disciplinary action) whilst not the easiest task, ought to be managed. It doesn’t just affect your performing employees; it can also impact your business success.

Having a framework with a clearly defined process accompanied by tools will allow your leaders to act early and decisively. They can provide the necessary support whilst ensuring the employee understands the consequences of not improving.

A clear and consistent process will also ensure that procedural fairness is followed.

Performance Development Plans

Performance management should be about development. Performance Development Plans can complement the review process as they help with increasing the skill level of your employees and provide learning and development opportunities.

These plans can also be used for underperforming employees. Often referred to as Performance Improvement Plans, they are the proactive tool designed to support the employee and set expectations.

Leader Capability

More engaged employees are those whose leaders take the time regularly to discuss their performance, provide meaningful feedback and coaching and remove any obstacles.

The success of managing performance relies on the capability of your leaders. Aside from providing the framework and tools consider educating your leaders. If you don’t have in-house expertise, call on external experts to assist so your leaders develop the skills and confidence.

Reward and Recognition

When employees feel that good performance goes unrecognised and unrewarded, motivation declines. Therefore, reward and recognition initiatives play an important part in performance management.

When considering initiatives (be it financial, benefits, recognition shout-outs, health and wellbeing programs – the list goes on), keep in mind that employees are motivated by different things.

At LMHR we provide support to small and medium businesses to allow their employees towards a common purpose and are recognised for their success. We do the heavy lifting, so you can focus on running the show. Contact us today.

*Originally published on Journal.