Almost all businesses implement some form of performance management in their structures, and if your business doesn’t already do so, it’s certainly something to look into.
While performance management is often an essential part of running a business, it can be quite easy to simply see it as something that needs to be ticked off, instead of utilizing it to its full potential. So, if you are interested in learning a bit more about performance management and how to make the most of it, you’ve come to the right place.
Can you make it easier for yourself?
We’ve all heard the saying “work smarter, not harder” and it’s certainly something that you can apply to your performance management strategy. The truth is that, if you plan on doing proper and thorough performance management for all your employees, it will take a while.
This means that you should always look for ways to make the task easier and quicker for yourself, and one very effective way of doing this is to use performance management software such as Trakstar Perform.
What is performance management?
Before we go any further, it may be helpful to first discuss what exactly performance management is. Simply put, performance management refers to ongoing check-ins or meetings between an employer and an individual employee.
During these meetings, the employer will be able to discuss the employee’s past performance and guide them on what they expect from their performance in the coming months. This way, performance management helps employees align their work with the business’s goals, and it also encourages consistent and open communication between employers and their employees.
Why should you spend time on it?
As mentioned, many business owners and managers spend time on performance management because they know it’s something that they should be doing, but very few of them actually stop to consider why they should be doing this, and what benefits performance management can hold for them.
If you spend enough time each year on performance management, it will drastically improve your business’s workplace communication because everyone will be on the same page, working towards the same goal. This will, in turn, lead to your employees being more productive. If you’re looking for a few more ways to increase productivity in the workplace, this post may be a helpful read.
How should you implement performance management?
Generally, most leaders find it helpful to have some type of guideline or template that they can use when hosting performance management discussions.
It’s a good idea to gather certain stats such as how many sales an employee makes or how often they are late to work, since you may want to discuss these issues with them. You can also have employees fill in anonymous questionnaires about their coworkers to see if there are any serious complaints.
Keep in mind, however, that performance management strategies aren’t there to break down your employees, but to help them do better, so don’t just focus on their mistakes but also mention any positive contributions that they have made.
How often should you do performance management?
The key to performance management is finding the sweet spot when it comes to how often you do it. You will want to do it regularly enough to monitor any changes in your employees’ performance, but not too often, since then you could end up wasting your time.
You can ask ten different leaders how often to do performance management and the odds are that you will get ten different answers, so the best thing to do is go through some trial and error to find what works best for you, your employees, and the business.
Some businesses may be fine with yearly performance management check-ins, while others may need quarterly or even monthly performance management meetings. Of course, if you have a new employee or are implementing new business strategies, you may want to do this more often. Doing a bunch of performance management meetings at once can take up a lot of time, so you may find it helpful to look into ways of improving your time management skills.
How do you deal with different employees?
You should also remember that not all employees are the same, so you shouldn’t try to evaluate their performance in the exact same way.
Of course, if one employee is performing far worse in a certain category than their teammates, it’s something to look into, but you can’t compare a new employee to someone who has been doing the job for ages. Different employees have different strengths and will perform best in different areas, so it can be helpful to keep this in mind. You aren’t dealing with robots, but with people, so you should remember to take human error, emotions, and different personality types into consideration when doing performance management.
What approach should you take?
If you’re sitting down to discuss an employee’s performance with them, you will likely take one of two approaches. Either you will be very kind, or you won’t hold back, and you will tell things as they are – even if that means being a bit harsh.
However, you may find that a balanced approach works best. Don’t sugarcoat things; if an employee isn’t performing up to standard, you need to discuss that with them. At the same time, you need to be understanding and encouraging. Being a nice boss isn’t enough, you also need to be firm.
Most people dread their performance management meetings. For employees, it’s often a very stressful time where they may worry that they are going to get in trouble. For employers, it takes a lot of planning, and it can also be difficult to have these serious conversations with your employees.
However, at the heart of it, performance management is there to help everyone involved do their best and learn from their mistakes, and when you start seeing it as a tool instead of a chore, you will be surprised at what a positive change it can make in your business.
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