Best practice in performance management

Performance management is on the rise. With less focus on the intimidating end-of-year appraisal, and more focus on continual improvement and goal setting, organisations are transforming the way in which their employees develop and are rewarded.

However, performance can only be enhanced when the entire performance process is optimised. HR teams can support managers in a multitude of ways to offer guidance and training in successful performance management.

By following our five top tips, you can ensure that your organisation’s performance management strategy is future-proofed, leading to more motivated staff, actionable goals and a relationship between individuals’ development and the organisation’s growth.

Performance management1. Be SMART in setting goals

Goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and with a Time set for it to be achieved by. This makes each goal more realistic and achievable as employees can see how the goal can be broken down into smaller steps for ultimate success. Whilst these goals can be flexible, managers should be conscious of making it attainable and with a sensible due date to prevent employees becoming demotivated by unachievable deadlines.

2. Offer formal training

This very often goes amiss in performance management strategies. Organisations are guilty of neglecting formal training, but it has the advantage of upskilling your workforce whilst encouraging a degree of loyalty into your organisation – particularly where training fee clawbacks are implemented in your training policy.

3. Offer actionable feedback

Criticism is demoralising, and employees may consider looking for a role elsewhere if they feel that they are not valued in your organisation. Managers should be trained to provide actionable feedback and coaching rather than criticism – whilst employees do not expect to be perfect in their roles, they do expect to be guided into the best working practices.

4. Make the most of technology

Performance software can enable both managers and employees to track all achievements and areas for improvement over the year. This allows for better communication as software should allow both parties to review each other’s comments. Performance management software has the additional advantage of all comments being added time accurately; every step of development can be logged and recorded as it happens in real-time, ensuring that nothing gets missed across the course of the year.

5. Reward success

Most importantly, encourage managers to reward success. This piece of ‘best practice’ will ensure that employee morale remains high, and they can be confident that their efforts are noted. Rewards needn’t be monetary – performance management rewards should be ongoing and a short-term win. Simple feedback is often enough to recognise a job well done!

Follow our five top tips to make the most of your performance management strategy to ensure that it will remain a helpful aid for all employees, current and future. By encouraging more transparent and open conversations between employees and managers, you will be better prepared to align their personal goals with your organisation’s overarching mission.

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