where performance management goes wrong

To get the most out of your people, performance management needs to be a focus year-round. 

Performance management and performance appraisals are two different things. A performance appraisal is the tool that makes year-round performance management possible. 

A sign of a good performance management process is the fact that there are no surprises at the annual performance appraisal meeting. Whether it's through a series of meetings throughout the year, repeated conversations around targets and goals, mentoring, training or other upskilling opportunities (preferably a mix of all of the above) – performance management should be a regular, transparent and ongoing process.

The process must be placed squarely in the framework of broad strategic organisational goals. Performance targets should align with the direction the business is moving, and the individual’s role in making these goals a reality should be clearly communicated.

The performance management process should also narrow its view, specifically considering departmental targets, team goals and the wants, needs and ambitions of the individual.

To ensure you have everything needed for good performance management, refer to this checklist.  

• Performance improvement – This covers the entire spectrum, first considering what great organisational performance means according to current strategy and business goals. It should then focus on departmental and team performance in order to help the business to achieve those goals. Finally, and just as importantly, it should look at the role of the individual and the levels of performance required in order to make the departmental and organisational goals a reality.

• Development – As organisational strategy changes and goals are continuously stretched and moved, staff members will require constant updating of their training in various areas to ensure skill levels are where they need to be. Without continuous development of individuals and teams, performance cannot possibly improve.

• Management of behaviour – One of the most sensitive and potentially frustrating elements of working within a business is the behaviour of individuals, particularly as it relates to those around them. Constant assessment and feedback is required to ensure issues are nipped in the bud before they become damaging to a team or department. Leave this to a once-a-year discussion and the problem will already be out of control. If you keep your finger on the pulse and constantly ensure individuals are encouraged to behave in a way that fosters better working relationships, you’ll not only see a rise in performance, you’ll also enjoy coming to work each day.

For further guidance on implementing an effective performance management process, speak to a Randstad recruitment consultant. 
 
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