Tips on performance management

Wednesday, 24 August 2011 03:08

Performance management meetings can help improve productivity

Performance management meetings can help improve productivity

You are sure to have heard the phrase performance management being used, but it is often spoken about as a concept rather than as something tangible that can help your business.

However, companies that formulate a detailed plan can see very real benefits, both in terms of staff development and financial results.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development defines performance management as a "holistic process bringing together many of the elements that make up the successful practice of people management including, in particular, learning and development".

That may sound complex, but it is possible to break the strategy down into a series of individual steps that deal with specific areas within your organisation, such as measuring employees' performance, training and staff motivation.

Perhaps the most obvious of these to begin with is ongoing assessment of staff members. All companies should have a programme in place for this, but it should be more than just an annual chat with a line manager to see how things are going.

It is important to ensure there is a real purpose to appraisals and that issues that arise from them are not just discussed in the meeting and then forgotten about for 12 months.

You should make certain the assessments are thorough and help to give the worker a clear idea of how they have performed, highlighting both things they have done well and their weaknesses.

It is a good idea for someone other than the employee's direct line manager to conduct the review, as the staff member is likely to find it easier to talk in such circumstances.

Before the meeting, have a good look at any data available on the worker's performance and if you think it is appropriate, take soundings from some of their colleagues to get a good overview.

When speaking to them one-to-one, cover their performance against specific individual targets and company objectives in the preceding period, and then think carefully about what happens next.

In most cases problems can be solved by identifying training needs, but you also need to consider the employee's ambitions and how you can help them to achieve them. Setting targets is a good idea, as is offering rewards.

Incentive schemes can be a great way of keeping staff motivated, giving them something to work towards and ensuring they contribute to improving productivity, customer service and, ultimately, the company's financial position.

Offering the chance to earn rewards also has the added benefit of letting staff know they are valued and helping to improve morale among the workforce.



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