Top performance management principles

Table of Contents

Performance management is the systematic process of tracking progress toward planned outcomes by monitoring the outcomes of activities and collecting and analysing performance data. From compensation and succession planning to mentorship, recognition, and career development, performance management is the focal point connecting employees to your whole engagement strategy.


When you get performance management wrong, it undermines all of the other excellent things you’re attempting to accomplish as an employer, which has an impact on your company’s performance.


The world of business, markets, and society has evolved. However, management ideas, methods, and concepts for leadership and performance management have largely remained unchanged. Rigid sales quotas, fixed performance targets, ‘pay for performance,’ and top-down micromanagement are still commonplace.


Here are a few fundamental themes  that will aid in driving the change of performance management in your organisation as an HR professional:


Analyze how you can improve your performance.


Before making any management changes, monitor the frequency of behaviour (what the individual says or the bodily motions made) and the outputs (the physical evidence of finished work created by those behaviours). This analysis can be performed on a single behaviour and output or on a large number of behaviours and outputs by job category, department, and organisation.


This study assesses current performance, establishes criteria, identifies why the behaviour is lacking, determines the net economic worth of improvement after the cost of remedies, and prioritises them. This study yields a list of potentially high-payoff behaviours and outputs that may be improved, which is a crucial first step because key behaviours and outputs are frequently missed or underestimated in businesses.


Team goals are more significant than individual ambitions.


Where teams add significantly more value than individuals, and where the rising complexity of tasks makes controlling them outside the team practically impossible, performance management must start with the team.


Recognize Performance in Context


Before we can re-imagine performance management, we need to know where it originated from, what it’s for, and how it fits into our overall business plan. A net promoter score of -60 is the result of performance management for the sake of performance management.


Nobody loves it when they are forced to do something they don’t want to do, whether they are a manager or an employee. Making performance management genuinely beneficial for everyone involved is the key to rethinking it, and the best way to accomplish so is to make sure it is totally in line with how people operate and the organization’s goals. Performance management must be on going, adaptable, and outcome-oriented.


Less secrecy – more transparency


Every employee must have the required knowledge base at their disposal in order to make decisions on their own authority. Transparency about essential company data, accessible competencies, and company goals, for example. Employees can only take responsibility for their aims and coordinate themselves in this way.


Don’t be vague


Describe and explain desired results, as well as the criteria for measuring them, in measurable, observable, and objective terms. It is necessary to offer a description of the occurrences that serve as signals for the response. It is critical to be detailed when training, coaching, assessing performance, feeding back performance data, performing a performance review, creating procedures, and offering positive reinforcement. Unfortunately, if the language employed is ambiguous, the desired behaviour may not be achieved.


Continuously provide feedback


Some managers are afraid to deliver feedback because there is a belief that managers should create an environment that makes their staff happy. Managers are afraid of making their direct reports uncomfortable, which leads to disengagement and frustration among their workers. However, providing criticism to an employee is the most professional and respectful thing a manager can do for them.


HR professionals must create programmes, distribute tools, and train managers on how to have better and more frequent feedback conversations. When done correctly, feedback is a kind of acknowledgement, and the chance for growth far outweighs the perceived cost: fear. As more managers become coaches, the organisation will build a feedback culture in which 360-feedback is natural and constantly provides individuals with the growth they require, as well as managers with a comprehensive perspective of their staff.


Forming Coaching Habits


HR professionals must learn to coach in order to help other coaches become better coaches. At its most basic level, coaching is about enabling and empowering someone else’s success. It is the art of eliciting the best performance from others. This term is useful because it shows us where to focus our attention when functioning as a coach. It has nothing to do with us. It’s all about making someone else’s success possible. It is not our obligation, for example, to give a terrific sales presentation; rather, it is our role to empower someone else to do it.


A modern approach to performance management requires everyone to have this mentality.


Provide Beneficial Consequences


Provide positive consequences to each individual promptly after they have completed the necessary actions and outputs. The repercussions of an individual’s activity have an impact on how often they repeat it. If the consequences are good, the conduct is likely to rise; if they are negative, the behaviour is likely to decrease. Consequences should be given for as long as the desired behaviour is wanted, or until natural consequences are strong enough to support the conduct. (an annual profit-sharing plan for the entire firm) For behaviour that is desirable in the long run, the rewards are temporary. And positive reinforcement is nearly always infrequent.


The frequency with which you provide positive consequences is determined by the frequency with which the behaviour occurs, the phase of behaviour change you are in (creating the first new behaviour, changing its frequency, or maintaining it), and the pattern of responses you desire (constant, maximum output, peak for certain periods, etc.).


Unfortunately, the inappropriate consequence system is in place in many firms. Desired conduct frequently has negative or neutral consequences. It’s possible that unfavourable behaviour will be rewarded. The reinforcers are way behind schedule. They are only given to a set of people (annual company-wide profit sharing). For behaviour that is desirable in the long run, the rewards are temporary. And positive reinforcement is nearly always infrequent.


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