Have you noticed a lack of engagement from your employees? Has productivity and performance taken a turn for the worse? If you do, your staff aren't the only ones.
A recent study found that 32.5% of US employees reported feeling engaged in their work. This means barely over 1/4 of working US adults feel connected, heard, and supported in their professional lives.
In order to achieve higher employee engagement and individual performance, you'll need to focus on performance management. Allowing senior management to effectively monitor employee performance and goal-setting, and provide timely feedback.
Keep reading to discover helpful tips and tricks for implementing or overhauling your performance management system.
Always communicate with employees
The first thing you should do when implementing professional management systems is to develop a communication plan. The goal is to communicate the new performance management changes and answer all questions the employees may have.
You should strive to be as detailed as possible. Be sure to explain exactly how the new changes will affect them in the long-term, short-term, and even in their day-to-day operations.
Don't just talk at your employees. Include them in the conversation. Create a forum for employees to provide feedback on the new system. Allow them to help shape the system into something that will truly benefit performance.
Performance management systems need to include a training plan for staff and managers. Managers should be trained on how to utilize the new system. Evaluation standards should be uniform.
You want to eliminate the feeling of staff that some supervisors are easier to be reviewed by than others.
Employees should be up-skilled. This means tailored specific training plans for employees. These plans can be used to help overall performance, bring a struggling employee back into the fold, or provide support for a particular career path.
Employees should feel supported by the new system, which will go a long way toward increasing retention.
All of this leads to employee buy-in, something essential to the implementation of any new system. Without employee buy-in, the system is doomed to fail.
The best way to gain employee buy-in however is to develop an appeals plan. Employees need to have a way to appeal a performance review they believe to be negative without retaliation.
A formal appeals process allows employees to feel engaged with management and in charge of their own careers. All while being supported by management amicably.
You should also pay attention to those who hold influence amongst employees. Not managers, but individuals who their peers look up to for guidance. The natural leaders amongst your staff.
Include them in early discussions and address employee concerns. Listen to their feedback and be transparent always. Without the key influencers amongst your staff buying in you'll be hard-pressed to get anyone else.
Make your performance management system a part of your culture
Finally, you'll want your new and improved performance management system to be integrated fully into your workplace culture. It's not enough to draft a new system and send out an email.
The new system should mesh with the organization's strategy, vision, and goals. It can be confusing to have a vision statement and business strategy that oppose the goals of the new system.
For current employees, this means focusing on transparency and open forums for questions and answers. Allow employees to feel engaged and involved in development and implementation.
Role-modeling is also key. There should never be a "do as I say and not as I do" moment between management and staff. Role model the new system for the staff. Show them how it works.
Don't forget new employees either. The performance review process should be introduced and discussed with new employees as a part of onboarding.
Awards and recognition
Part of making a new system like performance management is to have built-in awards and recognition process. This is to show real-world benefits that the employee can directly experience.
Even small gestures such as a gift card to a popular coffee shop in the area or an award certificate can go a long way to making an employee feel supported. And as long as the competition is friendly and light-hearted let that be the employees' motivation for better performance.
When encouraging friendly in-house competition be sure to set firm limits and boundaries. The last thing you want is employees undermining each other or hindering production to get a leg up on a peer.
For new employees, learning about awards and recognition options during onboarding gives them a goal on day one.
No one likes to administer or receive corrective action at work. It's not fun, everyone's feelings are always hurt. And, worst of all? You've greatly increased the likelihood of the employee receiving the corrective action quitting.
However, it is important for employees to understand what is at stake. While distasteful it is necessary to hold employees accountable.
You probably have a form of disciplinary action process in place. Adapt it to your new performance management system. And share it with your employees. Address their concerns and listen to their feedback. Help them to view disciplinary action as a myth rather than something they need to fear.
Be ready to adapt
Implementation of a new performance management system is an ongoing process of reviewing, monitoring, and adapting. Don't be rigid with your plan.
Rigidity will automatically cancel out the feeling of being supported that employees might experience with Q&A sessions and open feedback forums.
Remember to be transparent with your employees, and listen to their feedback, ideas, and suggestions. It's one of the most effective ways to gain employee buy-in. And if the employees have buy-in then they have invested in the success of the system and the organization.
If you're ready to increase employee performance throughout your organization then let us help you find the plan that best meets your needs today!