Performance management is an ongoing communication process between a supervisor and subordinate that takes place throughout the year in order to help the organization achieve its strategic goals. Clarifying expectations, creating objectives, identifying targets, giving feedback, and evaluating results are all part of the communication process. Or at least that’s the ideal.
Performance management is far from a new concept, it’s been around for decades, and almost every firm makes some use of it, although often not in a very strategic or effective way.
Working with expert performance management consulting firm like Pearl Lemon Consultants can prove invaluable. We can make use of our extensive expertise and experience – as well as our general people skills – to help you brainstorm and implement a performance management system that works for everyone, and gets the business boosting results you’ve been hoping for.
There are a few basic elements to consider while putting together an effective performance management framework, including:
You must set goals correctly, and these must be established early on. They must also be meaningful and well-defined. Employees should understand why these individual goals are important and how they relate to organizational objectives.
When employees know – and truly understand — how their jobs matter, they will care far more about their positions and be a lot more engaged.
In the modern business environment, setting goals should be a collaborative effort. Whereas goals used to trickle down from the top of an organization, thriving companies are aligning goals upwards. And the results are overwhelmingly positive.
As a result, goal-setting should include meeting with employees and being open about the company’s goals, direction, and challenges. Employees can use this information to set goals that complement organizational objectives and make daily decisions to further these objectives.
Furthermore, when employees are placed in the driver’s seat and given the freedom to be involved in the development of their own goals, they feel a greater feeling of autonomy and ownership over their work. This invariably leads to improved employee performance and greater job satisfaction.
Employees expect — and deserve — their bosses and leaders to be transparent and honest at all times. They don’t want to be kept in the dark when their businesses face difficulties. They want to be kept up to date on current events. No one can be expected to do their best work if they are continually worried about job security.
Furthermore, they desire real-time communication while cultivating good relationships with their coworkers and managers. This calls for regular feedback and open discussion, even when such communication is difficult or unpleasant.
An effective performance management system should make employee recognition and reward a high priority. Employees should feel valued and appreciated for the work that they perform and the effort that they put forth. Study after study has shown that if employee recognition isn’t a top priority, it will almost certainly have a negative impact on your employee turnover.
If the main goal of a performance management strategy is better individual performance, the more frequent and precise the feedback should be. That’s all there is to it. Employees want regular updates on how they are perceived to be doing in their job, and the more informed they are about their performance, the more likely they are to improve and exceed.
The quality of the feedback matters too. If it seems like managers and supervisors are just ‘checking boxes’ – or if that is exactly what they are doing, which we have found is far too often the case – then employees are likely to resent the process rather than find it helpful. And should they feel it is unfair, the feedback and performance management process can do more harm than good.
No ambitious high performer wants to stay at a company for the long haul without being allowed to hone and develop their skills. Employees value advancement and development, not to mention that companies benefit when their employees are more competent and capable.
Knowing that you need to implement a better performance management strategy, and doing so, are two very different things. And when performance management goes wrong, the fallout can be more than damaging, to employee morale, employee relations and to the company as a whole.
There are all kinds of ways performance management can backfire, and figuring out just why yours isn’t working is just one of the ways performance management consulting firms like Pearl Lemon Consultants can help.
One big myth about performance management is that one size fits all ‘ideal’ solutions will work for everyone. That there is a single process, software or methodology that is the ‘best’ and that every company should attempt to work with. Some consultants will even tell you that there is, with the ‘right way’ being their way, possibly making use of software and other tech they will benefit from you implementing.
You cannot make positive change to a system you don’t understand, so rather than coming in and telling you what you need to do and how you should structure a more effective performance management system based on ‘best practices’ and ‘common wisdom’ the Pearl Lemon Consultants team takes the time to learn about your company, your culture, the challenges you are facing in terms of performance management right now and more.
One of the biggest advantages of working with outside consultants is that when it comes to getting the employee feedback that is key to creating a better performance management process, staff are usually more open and willing to discuss their opinions with us, whereas they are unlikely to do so with management for fear of upsetting them or ‘getting into trouble’.
We also provide the ‘fresh eyes’ you need. You may have been using the same system for years, and as managers are used to it, and it has become ingrained in company culture, you may not even see a need for change. And we won’t recommend change for change’s sake either. If something is truly working, we’ll show you how to make it better, more efficient and/or most cost-effective. And if something is not, we’ll take the time to explain why things need to change and what you will gain if they do.
Ready to work on taking your performance management initiatives to the next level?
Contact us today and let’s discuss how performance management consulting from Pearl Lemon Consultants will do that for you.