How do you know you’re employees are doing a great job? Do you send an email that says “Keep it up!”? Or how about giving them a bonus? Do you sit them down and start an appraisal?
It’s probably no surprise that employees want to be told that they’re doing a great job. And it’s certainly a manager’s responsibility to call out employees who aren’t doing their best. But in any case, how do you go about measuring your employee’s progress? While there may be a lot of facts and myths about performance management, during a study done by Towers-Watson, only 58% of companies in the Philippines say that they have an effective performance management system in place.
With that kind of number, we have to look at what an effective performance management system should have. Many companies will surely have their own version of a performance management system, and that’s totally fine. But with that in mind, let’s take note of what managers need to remember when making an effective performance management appraisal:
EFFECTIVE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT EVALUATION
Day-to-day actions are in line with business objectives
Ever heard the phrase “working hard or hardly working?” In a modern setting, this could be translated to being busy versus looking busy. For example, let’s say your employee just attended 5 meetings in one day — definitely a draining experience. Despite their hectic schedule, were they able to finish that report you asked them to finish that same day? If the answer is no, then you and the employee might have to rethink the number of meetings they attend in a day. If what they’re doing isn’t contributing to their individual or company-wide goals, it’s time to do some reassessing.
Visibility and accountability of performance expectations
Have you ever asked your employee about their tasks for the day but received a few seconds of silence in response? It is a serious dilemma if your employee does not know what his individual goals are. Great thing is, tracking what your employees should be doing can be surprisingly easy, by using a little tool called Objective Key Results. This tool allows you to quickly see how your employee is progressing with their objectives (reporting is done by giving percentages), and you know if they’re doing great or if you need to step in and give them help.
Putting focus on skill development and learning activity choices
Lastly, when you identify what your employee’s strengths and weaknesses are, what should you do next?
If we’re talking about weaknesses, then it’s simply helping them improve their skills! Got a customer service employee who doesn’t know how to deal with a difficult client? Do some role-playing and teach them how to act or react. But if we’re talking about strengths, allow them to develop new skills. For example, have your best sales person dabble into the side of marketing. If they’ve had numerous interactions with your current roster of clients, then chances are they know what appeals to your market, which means they know how to attract new clients to you.
While following the points I mentioned above, keep in mind that you are measuring the individual performance of the employee, with the goal of motivating them to be more productive. And that’s another thing you need to look out for: what to do so you can continuously support your employees, and in effect, raise their performance. Now again, every company has their own way of motivating their staff, but here are some best practices that a lot of managers agree on.
BEST PRACTICES FOR PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT
1) Schedule regular and relevant one-on-one sessions
2) Clearly communicate their performance expectations
3) Provide appropriate learning and developmental opportunities
4) Recognize and reward top performers.
So there you have it! But before you go and start creating a possibly new performance management system, one last thing to consider: no matter how you measure the performance of your employees, keep in mind that you’re still dealing with real people. The whole reason you want to see the progress of your employees is so that you can motivate them to achieve greater goals, and bring you and your team along for the ride.