Topic of the Month (June 18): Performance Management

Topic of the Month:  Performance Management

In previous months we’ve talked about performance, about how we capture, identify and review business performance but what about the performance of your people?  We know at PAGE that your employee performance (within all levels of your business) can make or break business growth and capability.


What is Performance Management?

Performance Management, in definition, is the term used to describe the activities and processes involved in maintaining and increasing employee performance inline with business objectives. It should help employees understand the importance of their contributions, continuously improve the performance of individuals and make sure the performance of employees contributes to the goals of their teams and the business as a whole

Many businesses have formal processes (or systems) that dictate how performance should be managed.  This usually blends a number of interactions between team member and leader throughout a given time period.  Examples of these interactions may include Personal Development Plans/Records (PDP’s or PDR’s), appraisal meetings, 1-2-1 monthly meetings, toolbox talks, training courses etc.  However a good proportion of businesses have not formalised these processes and employees can be left to perform with minimal interaction with their leader, limited direction or feedback and they are only told about an opportunity for improvement when something goes wrong.  At PAGE Consulting Ltd we like to encourage you to ask yourself which category your business falls into!

Good performance management systems help everyone in the organisation to know:

  • What the business is trying to achieve
  • Their role in helping the business achieve its goals
  • The skill and competencies they need to fulfil their role
  • The standards of performance required
  • How they can develop their performance and contribute to development of the organisation
  • How they are doing
  • When there are performance problems and what to do about them

In general, employees want (and need) to be successful contributors to a business. They want to know what is expected of them and how they can most effectively achieve those expectations and it is performance management activities that are critical in this.  Ask yourself; does your existing performance management system do this effectively?

Performance Management is also central to the relationship between managers and employees. It can be a catalyst for good communication and enhance the growth of trust and personal development. Managing performance is therefore fundamental to how well your employees will be engaged in their work and how well they will perform.

This continual raising of performance levels will benefit a business in a number of areas.  From building reputation by delivering great customer service, by increasing productivity & profitability by having effective and efficient business processes and by having happy, motivated and engaged employees who will remain committed and be adaptable and flexible to your business dynamics – all critical for high growth!

So over to you; plan some time, review your existing Performance Management Systems (processes, activities, documentation and all!) to ensure it:

  • Is job specific
  • Is aligned with the business strategic direction and culture
  • Is easy to use and follow (and not laborious)
  • Provides clear indications of an employee’s performance
  • Includes a collaborative process for setting goals and reviewing performance
  • Involves two-way communication
  • It monitors and measures results (what) and behaviours (how)
  • Includes positive feedback for a job well done and constructive feedback when improvement is needed
  • Provides training and development opportunities
  • Establishes clear communication between managers and employees about what they are expected to accomplish
  • Recognises employee contributions
  • Identifies areas of poor performance and establish plans for improvement
  • Supports of HR functions, policies and decision making around things such as promotions, terminations, compensation and rewards
  • Is suitable to demonstrate due diligence for legal challenges related to dismissal or liability

What performance management should not be is a single, or twice yearly review of static goals, think differently, change your approach and you may just be pleasantly surprised on the impact it can make.

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PAGE Consulting Ltd offer business support, coaching & training to growing businesses.  To discuss this, or any other business growth strategies, call us on 01430 440079.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn for further growth hacks

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