What Is Performance Management? Best Practices to Guide Your Performance Management Program
Many people cringe when they think about the term 'performance management.' Yearly performance reviews and annual performance appraisals come to mind. Employees get a score or grade and end up feeling like they are a number with a price tag rather than a team member with valuable contributions and ideas.
November 19, 2018

Many people cringe when they think about the term 'performance management.' Yearly performance reviews and annual performance appraisals come to mind. Employees get a score or grade and end up feeling like they are a number with a price tag rather than a team member with valuable contributions and ideas.

Effective performance management takes a simpler approach with a performance management process that helps develop team members and provides meaningful feedback that helps drive the best business results. An effective performance management process can even help eliminate the dreaded performance review.

Keep reading to learn more about how to efficiently and effectively measure employee performance, save time, and help your team members reach their full potential.

Make Performance Management an Ongoing Process

Dismiss the idea that effective performance management should have a yearly performance period. Rather than conducting a yearly employee review, assess employee performance on a regular basis. When you conduct a formal performance review on an annual basis, managers tend to place too much emphasis on recent events than analysing each employee's performance over the year.

Have regular check-ins and address performance improvement issues as they arise, rather than wait until the annual performance review. There's little more frustrating for an employee than hearing negative criticism about something that happened six months ago when it could have been addressed long before.

When team members feel supported and guided throughout the entire year, leaders and supervisors are empowering them to do their best work. This fosters a higher level of employee engagement. Put formal performance assessments aside and create a work environment of continual coaching and feedback.

Use Tools That Streamline the Performance Management

The smartest organisations make the performance management process easier with tools and software that streamline the process. Rather than using cumbersome performance appraisals that get filed away into a human resources folder and are forgotten, use a performance management system that simplifies the process.

For example, Samewave is a different type of program called social performance management software. It uses the power of Promise-Based Management and the powerful psychological theory of Social Discipline to help teams foster accountability to performance objectives.

Team members make promises to one another in a transparent environment, so everyone knows who is responsible for what and if they've reached their goals. Teams can create strategic goals and individual tasks, communicate about their progress in multiple chat streams, upload and store files and documents, and even generate automatic reports that are sent directly to your email inbox at your desired frequency.

Best of all, Samewave is free. Sign up and download our software today to create an effective, smart performance management process without the hassle of lengthy performance reviews.

Provide Opportunities for Professional Development

The best performance management programs do more than document individual performance measures and provide a performance rating. They identify strengths as well as opportunities for improvement and develop a plan for employee development.

They then help guide a performance plan that helps each team member with their career development goals to meet their highest potential. Make sure your performance management process includes goal-setting along with performance assessment.

This helps ensure team members are supported towards reaching high performance rather than just feeling judged and graded. When employees feel like the company is invested in helping further their career as part of the assessment process, they are more liked to feel engaged and motivated towards reaching their goals.

Make Performance Expectations Clear

Imagine how an employee might feel when they enter a performance review meeting and are encountered with a list of performance standards and objectives that were never listed on the job description when they were hired.

They feel out of the loop and frustrated for being expected to attain performance standards they weren't made aware of in the first place. They certainly won't feel supported towards reaching goals and accomplishing tasks they didn't know they were responsible for.

Job descriptions should be an ongoing description of what is expected of each employee. When things change or responsibilities are altered, make sure each team member is not only aware of changes, but that they have the tools, skills and resources to fulfill their responsibilities well.

This requires a high level of communication and commitment from company team leaders. Supervisors must be dedicated to being an advocate for their direct reports and ensuring team members know what is expected of them while making sure they have the support they need to do their jobs well.

Furthermore, individual employees should be their own advocates and not be hesitant to ask for clarification regarding their roles and responsibilities. That way, if an employee asks, 'Am I doing my job well and meeting my expectations?' or 'What can I improve to be better at my job?', they know exactly what they need to do rather than assuming.

Create the Most Effective Performance Management Process Today

Developing and fostering the best performance management program is no small task for any organisation, large or small. It doesn't happen overnight, but being intentional about crafting a meaningful process can help drive your organisational goals.

Implement these best practices, and over time you'll see how an effective performance management system leads to employee success and engagement. Create a process that isn't limited by a rigid performance management cycle, use tools and resources that save time and streamline the process, encourage robust communication about performance expectations, create a culture of accountability – and watch your teams grow and thrive like you never thought possible.

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