A starting Point for a Performance Management Program

Managers may cringe when the topic of performance management arises. They may be uncomfortable because it is a new concept. They may dread it because the process sounds like a huge burden. They may have participated in performance reviews that felt like “another exercise to check the box.” Let’s break down the barriers to implementing a valuable program.

What if you implemented a program that resulted in compensation that was tied to performance? Perhaps you would gain more buy-in. Compensation treatment is not a necessary component of a performance management process. It can work well when team members maintain control over the objectives for which they are held accountable. This type of structure may also help your leadership team identify an equitable means of distributing bonuses or salary increases.

What if you implemented a program that helped each manager establish an individual development plan for team members?  Gallup conducted an Employee Engagement poll and shared that opportunities to learn and grow contributed to employee engagement, yet only 32% of employees were engaged in 2022. This data prompts us to explore learning and development opportunities within our organizations.

I spoke with a friend that had recently completed a series of interviews with several organizations. Some were small organizations with under 200 employees. Others were global, publicly held businesses. He asked each interview team about training and career advancement opportunities. He quickly eliminated the businesses that did not have a solid response. In line with what Gallup discovered, my friend factored training and career progression into his analysis of several offers. Your managers may discover that a performance management program that drives Individual Development Plans will help them recruit top talent. It will become clear that the program is more meaningful than checking a box!

We also acknowledge that every manager may not anticipate the development needs that surface during their review discussions, but they can agree to conduct some research to identify resources and potential solutions. The most important step is to schedule and host a follow-up discussion. If you need help identifying economical development solutions, please contact us.

What if you designed a performance management program that drove better business outcomes? You may think that sounds like a lofty goal. The Gallup poll also shared that engaged employees have clear expectations and a connection to the mission or purpose of the company. Organizations that state their goals and cascade them through the organization have taken a step toward aligning all roles toward delivering something much bigger than that of each individual role. The goals can be broken down to objectives that are tracked over a period of time and discussed during the review. Team members are likely to feel good about contributing to the success of an organization and the performance review is a natural format to host that meaningful discussion.

One of our clients asked us to survey some of their customers for input on their brand. I spoke with a longtime customer who told me that our client was committed to customer service at every level. His typical interactions were with Sales, Engineering, and Accounting. One day, he drove to the business to pick up a truck load of products. When he arrived, the shipping and receiving team was heading to the break room for their break. They saw the customer and turned around to help him load his truck. He felt like the most important person in the warehouse. When he told me this story, it was abundantly clear that the shipping and receiving team added value to the business relationship and they were greatly appreciated. In the absence of a feedback practice or performance management program, these team members would be more likely to fall into the disengaged or voluntary resignation categories.

What if the idea of creating a performance management program feels too burdensome right now? You may believe in the concept but feel that it would be overwhelming right now. Some leaders think it would be best to plan and implement it at the beginning of the fiscal year. One option is to start with a very simple framework to collect and document performance activities, successes, and opportunities to improve.

Secondly, you can easily and affordably express gratitude to your team members and encourage this practice at all levels. Very simply, start to model the behavior. Demonstrate your gratitude in one-on-one discussions, group meetings, and company-wide events. If you want to amplify the value, roll-out a Spot Award program or a program supported by the technology that you currently have in place.

With technology like a Slack channel or group text and a partnership with your communications team, you can communicate the value of sharing positive feedback throughout the organization. Encourage team members to recognize one another for achievements and positive job performances. One of our clients thanks each team member for something specific every night as they leave. It reinforces the feeling that they are valued and appreciated.

What if you incorporated management training in the performance management program roll-out? Some managers are uncomfortable with performance management because they lack experience and confidence to fairly evaluate their team members. That is not surprising. Often managers have been promoted without the tools, training, and resources to skillfully assume the management role. If you can prepare them for the structure, walk through the process, provide resources, and conduct their reviews before they need to move forward with reviews for their team members, they will be set up for success.

Everyone appreciates feedback. Take a step toward delivering performance feedback and reap the rewards!

 

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Headquarters
230 Hampton Woods Lane, Suite 101 Raleigh, NC 27607
Satellite Office
2929 Breezewood Ave. Suite 101, Fayetteville, NC. 28303
Where to find us
https://onboardwithus.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/img-footer-map1.jpg