Performance management is really about holding employees accountable for doing the job that they are being paid to do. Performance management also requires the person supervising an employee’s work to communicate expectations and give timely feedback on job performance.
Company culture has a lot do to with how well employees perform. Does your organization have a culture of accountability or a culture of blame? Do you believe that problems are learning opportunities? Or look for someone to blame? Do you encourage employees to take initiative to make decisions and solve problems? Or punish them when things go wrong?
Performance management begins with the hiring process. Does the job description accurately reflect the job duties? Does the applicant possess the necessary skill set? Will job training be necessary? Are goals and checkpoints established during the on-boarding process?
How frequently do you meet with employees to discuss work assignments and ask “What are your priorities this week and how can I help you accomplish them?” This isn’t about micromanaging or ‘doing’ the job yourself, but instead helps you monitor the employee’s progress and remove obstacles that are holding him or her back from being successful.
When you do become aware of performance issues, address them quickly and redirect the employee to do the job correctly. Ignoring poor performance becomes negative reinforcement, allowing the employee to believe his or her job performance is acceptable.
Good performance management means giving constructive feedback, not constructive criticism. Criticism is negative by definition and may result in the employee becoming angry, defensive or shutting down completely. Constructive feedback focuses on what the employee does well, redirects the performance that doesn’t meet expectations and gets the employee back on track. Explaining the “why” for doing a job a certain way also helps employees meet performance expectations.
Ken Blanchard, business consultant, author and motivational speaker, tells us to “catch people doing something right.” Look for ways to give positive feedback to employees so that when you do have to give them constructive feedback (not criticism!), they are more open to what you have to say.
Performance management requires an investment in employees, but the resulting good job performance is well worth the time and effort.
An HR professional can help you with all of your human resources needs. From hiring the right employees, running background checks, creating employee handbooks that include anti-harassment policies and procedures, and so much more, Next Level Solutions can work with you to provide the services that you need to run your business.