If you're a manager, you've probably heard that it’s important to conduct annual performance appraisals. But how do you know if your employees are doing their jobs well and what happens when they aren't? This article will explain the basics of performance management and the importance of conducting it regularly.
Performance management focuses on demonstrable and deliverable results. It encompasses the need to improve results through many factors such as customer satisfaction, market position, and industry trends.
Annual performance appraisals = old news
Annual performance appraisals are outdated and ineffective. They don't facilitate employee improvement because there is a structure managers need to follow that often relies on nitpicking and finding flaws because you can’t leave a box empty/unchecked.
The annual appraisal is dying -- or at least it's in the process of being reinvented.
The traditional annual performance review is fraught with problems, including poor timing (too late to be helpful), too much focus on the person rather than on the work (sending the wrong message about what motivates workers), and a reliance on subjective measures (which breed friction). You can't do anything about an employee's weaknesses until next year — even if it seems like now would be a good time for action. This gives employees an incentive not to change much at all, which makes things worse for everyone involved in the performance system.
That's why a growing number of companies are moving to "continuous performance management," a system in which employees receive timely coaching and feedback throughout the year. Instead of waiting for a once-a-year performance review, employees know where they stand on an ongoing basis.
What is the performance management process?
Performance management is a process that helps employees and employers improve performance by identifying and developing employees’ individual strengths and weaknesses. It's a continuous process, not a one-off event. This can include timely or real-time feedback from managers, peer reviews, or self-assessments (for example, surveys).
Performance management systems often evaluate whether employees follow procedures and complete tasks correctly. This style is excellent for ensuring your employees follow established processes, but it doesn't provide much information about what they're doing or why they're doing it well — which is more critical when it comes to retaining them. Instead, focus more on results than processes when you're creating an employee performance management system.
Elements involved in the performance management process
- Evaluation of performance: This is the first step in a performance management process. The employee's supervisor will evaluate his or her performance and recommend improvements if any.
- Feedback on performance: After evaluating an employee's performance, it may be necessary to provide feedback about specific aspects of this evaluation. If you have not done this already, now would be an excellent time to start doing it!
- Goal setting: Tracking goals is essential because it helps us know where we're going and how far we've come along the way. If an employee doesn't know what he or she wants from life or work yet (and most people don't), then the employees feel motivated enough to go after them—and that means no progress made toward achieving those goals at all!
How to improve the performance management review process
There are many ways to improve the performance management process. Here are some of them:
- Be clear about what you want from your employees and how you want them to perform. This will enable you to decide the type of training or coaching required for each person.
- Develop a clear picture of your company's goals and objectives, including those set by its senior leaders and those specific to each employee in your organization.
- Ensure all employees have access to information about their progress at work, so they can see how their actions contribute to the organization's success as a whole.
- Encourage feedback from employees on what they think about their work environment; this will enable you to develop strategies for improving it further if necessary.
Mistakes to avoid while setting up your performance management process
While setting up these processes, many companies fail to understand their primary objective. They think that performance management is just about rating and ranking employees. However, the performance management process has a broader objective. It aims at enhancing the performance and productivity of employees, setting goals, providing feedback, evaluating performance, and managing employee growth.
Here is the list of mistakes that organizations should avoid while setting up their performance management processes:
1. Lack of transparency
Lack of transparency is organizations' topmost mistake while setting up their performance management processes. While setting up these processes, organizations tend to keep the entire process under wraps and keep their managers in the dark.
This hampers the very objective of the performance management process. Performance management should be a transparent process where managers are involved in the process from the start.
2. No employee involvement
While setting up these processes, organizations forget to consult their employees' most important stakeholders.
Organizations should include employees in designing the performance management process to understand their issues and concerns better.
3. No goal setting
While setting up these processes, organizations often forget to set goals. Without clearly defined goals, there remains no clarity amongst members of the organization on how to take the proper steps to achieve those.
Therefore, clearly defined goals are necessary.
4. No clarity
Companies forget that there are different processes for different employees. These processes need to be defined separately for different employees.
It’s necessary that organizations should clearly state the objectives of the process, the criteria, and the timelines.
5. Overlooking competencies
Organizations also often overlook the competencies of the employees. Instead of focusing on competencies, organizations focus on performance.
They should ensure that their performance management processes focus on the competencies of the employees.
6. Lack of incentives
Organizations fail to understand the importance of incentives in performance management. Managers need to have proper incentives to perform effectively and carry out these processes.
7. Lack of adequate training
Organizations need to provide training to their employees to understand how to carry out these processes effectively.
8. Poor implementation
Companies often lack the proper resources or knowledge to implement these processes effectively. Therefore, there is a need to invest in the training and development of the workforce to implement these processes effectively.
9. Poor communication
Sometimes, companies fail to communicate the entire process to their employees, resulting in a mess. Organizations often forget to explain the reason behind this process to their employees, which also results in a poor response in terms of engagement.
Performance management is good for employee engagement and retention
Performance management is good for employee engagement and retention because it provides a shared goal or objective, which employees can see and feel a part of. Improving performance management will help you retain your best employees and attract new talent as they feel heard, and their voices are given a platform, not once a year but continuously.
Performance management also helps managers get into a better rhythm with their teams so that they can benefit from each other's strengths rather than focusing on weaknesses.
Ensuring that your employees have a clear picture of their objectives and the steps they need to take to achieve them is key to achieving this goal. You should then be able to monitor performance against these targets on an ongoing basis, reward those who are doing well, and penalize those who are not.
To conclude, performance management can help your organization with retention and engagement. You need not integrate additional performance management processes in today's digital age. Instead, you can just integrate performance management software such as Mesh.ai. Powered by AI and ML, Mesh.ai helps remote hybrid companies execute their growth plans, keeping employees engaged. With Mesh.ai, you get a secure, scalable and compliant system, as we take your data privacy seriously. Reach out today.