How social performance management software helps companies thrive
When most employees think about performance management, they cringe.
August 20, 2018

When most employees think about performance management, they cringe. They think of a traditional performance appraisal process or employee reviews based on their vague or unrealistic job descriptions. Many worry about being unfairly judged or criticised by their managers with annual performance reviews, dealing with human resources or the dread of being put on a performance improvement plan.

However, an effective performance management process can remove the need for individual employee reviews and rigid control while improving career development, boosting employee engagement and increasing overall organisational performance. Ready to find out how?

Building an Effective Performance Management Program    

In contrast to traditional employee appraisal programs, an effective performance management process involves fostering a collaborative work environment where team members are continually provided with the resources and feedback to do their best work and produce their highest levels of individual performance.

According to human resource expert Susan Heathfield,  'Performance management is a whole work system that begins when a job is defined as needed. It ends when an employee leaves your organization.'

Your performance management process needs to be aligned with your organisational objectives and measured on a continual basis, not just after defined performance periods.

For example, Deloitte, a large professional services network, was previously using a complex performance management process with an annual performance management cycle. Performance expectations and objectives were set for individual team members at the beginning of the year, and managers rated employee performance after each project, which was developed into a single rating at the end of the year.

What they found after evaluating their performance planning process made a strong case for change. While their performance management program had the best of intentions, the design of the program wasn't effective. Marcus Goodall and Ashley Buckingham wrote in the Harvard Business Review article ‘Reinventing Performance Management’, 'Once-a-year goals are too “batched” for a real-time world, and conversations about year-end ratings are generally less valuable than conversations conducted in the moment about actual performance.'

Deloitte counted the number of hours they spent on performance management including filling out forms, performance appraisal meetings, developing rating measures and so forth. They found their team spent upwards of two million hours per year on performance management. Furthermore, they discovered many of those hours were consumed by closed-door executive conversations about the outcomes.

As a result, leadership made the decision to shift from focusing on talking about their employees' ratings to talking with them about their company performance as a whole. They committed to focusing on recognising performance and planning for the future rather than continually analysing the past to produce individual ratings.  

Develop a Modern Performance Management Program

Poorly designed performance management plans can be quite damaging. They lack meaning, ruin employee motivation, slow the decision-making process and waste time towards meeting company performance targets. Your plan must do more than turn job descriptions into a set of performance measures that are only evaluated with an annual performance review.

The most successful companies weave measurable commitments, personal responsibility and accountability, transparent communication and public recognition into their performance management plan to increase employee engagement and improve organisational productivity towards goals.

Incorporate Promise-Based Management

If an organisation desires to recognise and reward individual contributions and performance in real-time, leaders and managers have to be able to clearly measure it on a daily basis. It requires cultivating a spirit of transparency. A performance management process centered around Promise-Based Management and Social Discipline can supply the results necessary for meaningful, measurable and effective outcomes.

Promises are naturally weaved into the fabric of the business world. We make commitments to our colleagues, managers and customers. When companies are intentional about the keeping the promises they make, the effect of Social Discipline fosters a transparent work environment and a performance management system focused on individual accountability.

The most important characteristic of Promise-Based Management is making good promises. When team members craft mindful promises they intend on keeping and outcomes are continually measured, performance management becomes simple. Good promises should be public, active, voluntary, explicit and mission-based.

When promises are made in a public setting that is visible to the entire team, performance expectations become clear. Performance problems are easy to catch.  Employees across the company are socially motivated to honor their promises. With promises, tasks morph into binding commitments.

When employees are committed to a promise that everyone can see, they are much more likely to meet their obligations. Team members don't want to be the person that let someone down or caused a project to fail. They will work harder to defend their integrity and reputation.

The Power of Social Discipline for Performance Management

Social Discipline is an exceptional psychological concept that forms the backbone of Promise-Based Management. It uses social persuasion and accountability to individual responsibilities to naturally promote effective performance management.

The psychology of Social Discipline creates an atmosphere of personal responsibility. A key element of social discipline involves making strong commitments to fulfill promises made to one another in a transparent place. Team members experience a boost in self-awareness when they know their goals are being publicly tracked.

A transparent culture and fluid conversations about performance expectations makes it easier to gauge individual contributions and employee performance. It also creates the opportunity to incorporate employee recognition into a public space with positive feedback.

Social Discipline and using promises also fosters tremendous growth in employee engagement. Teams become invested in the mission of the organisation and a sense of mutual ownership is created around reaching public goals.

Engaged employees are happier, higher-performing employees. Fulfilling promises to one another creates an atmosphere of trust and belonging. With increased engagement, employee morale and motivation soar and overall company performance skyrockets.

Make Performance Management Simple With Software

Developing an effective performance management system doesn't have to be complex. With the right performance management software, the need for rigid employee reviews and rating systems may even disappear.

While the principles and benefits of Social Discipline are clear, practicing them effectively isn't as easy as understanding them. In reality, without intentionally monitoring and measuring adherence to good promises daily, commitments can fall by the wayside quickly. Total transparency creates extreme clarity regarding performance expectations. No one can skirt responsibility or pretend they didn't know they were responsible for reaching a goal when they make their own promises in a public environment.

Imagine if each employee's work was automatically tracked and measured. The best software removes the red tape from performance management by decreasing time spent in meetings, measuring what matters in real-time and making it available to the entire team.

Samewave is social performance management software that combines social technology with performance management software to create a workplace based on measurable results. The software allows business teams to create, track and measure promises and collaborate on their commitments.

Samewave's open communication channels, simple user experience, robust reporting features, interactive performance scoreboards and straightforward task management tools help organisations measure performance management in one convenient place.

Are you ready to stop the dread that comes from annual performance reviews? Give your team members autonomy over tracking their own performance and increase collaboration around company performance standards.

Learn more about how you can make performance management simple, and maybe even fun. Get your team on the samewave today, for free.

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