How to Make the Performance Management Process More Human?

25 February 2022 | 3 Minute
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How to Make the Performance Management Process More Human?

How to make the performance management process more human?

Performance management has evolved significantly in recent years. It's no longer a once-a-year occasion where management reviews prior performance and offer grades that often surprise the recipients. Instead, it's become a continual process that helps team members advance in their careers. 

Modern performance management focuses on employee engagement and enablement to assist each team member in being their best. This method has proven to be far more effective in supporting performance compared to an annual ‘audit’ where the employee’s performance is analysed. Gallup found that organizations with highly engaged employees reported increased productivity, revenue, and profitability. 

Here are five strategies to make your organization's performance management process more personable and engaging for your team members.


1. From the beginning, establish clear objectives with your team. 

When team members know what they're expected to do, performance management is more effective and motivating for everyone involved. During the onboarding process and at frequent periods after that, establish clear objectives and key results (OKRs) for your team members. All of the company's departments and employees should be able to see exactly how they're contributing to the company's performance through individual OKRs. 

Individual OKRs are vital, but it's also crucial that team members believe in them and feel supported in their attainment. Managers and employees should discuss progress toward OKRs during regular check-ins, and they should offer assistance if necessary. 

Employee-centered performance management might begin with an open and supportive approach to performance management.


2. Make a plan for each team member's future development. 

More than just helping the company achieve its goals, effective performance management should also assist team members in advancing their own professional aspirations. Higher levels of motivation and output can be expected when the company's goals and the employees’ are in sync. This can be done with the help of personalised career mapping by understanding the skill gaps, progression over the periods and their engagement with the company.

As your team is onboarded, talk about professional goals and how they might align with company objectives, planned growth, and your product roadmap. Create a professional development plan for each team member to help them progress on the career path that best suits them and your company.


3. Offer a wide range of opportunities for professional growth. 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to learning and development. Attending conferences, for example, may appeal to some people because it allows them to learn in a group setting, meet other practitioners, and share their experiences. If you're a busy person, you might prefer to take advantage of online courses that are available whenever you have time. 

Allowing your employees to choose from a wide range of development options gives them more freedom and opportunities to learn and grow. This will enable your employees to stay motivated by understanding how they fullfill their progression with their current job but also give a chance to apply their learnings to their work making their contribution more meaningful and helping to internalise company goals better. 


4. Provide ongoing feedback.

Performance management should be a continual process, not just an annual or quarterly event. Managers should bestow praise when it is due and seek instructive moments to provide constructive comments. Regular one-on-one meetings should include time for discussing employee objectives and priorities, mentoring, providing and receiving feedback, sharing successes, and overcoming barriers. 

This type of continual feedback and open communication can help guarantee that team members are always aware of their performance status. This has the potential to have a significant impact on the work experience. 


5. Educate your bosses.

Without your managers' support, your People Ops team can't implement an effective, engaging performance management approach. These skills aren't always taught in the classroom. 

Training managers to better manage their teams' performance can improve employee satisfaction. Educate them on the method. Practice an excellent one-on-one. Discuss your company's development opportunities. Show your performance management system in action. Assist with a cheat sheet with a sample script for performance-related discussions with their reports. Also, make your People Ops staff available to management.


Some final thoughts…

Remember, every procedure can (and should) be improved. Ask your team members and managers for feedback on your performance management system and suggestions for improvement. Engagement or Pulse surveys, a suggestion box, or even casual interactions can help.

If you want your team members to succeed, you need to ensure they feel supported. 

That's modern performance management!

Next article
What is Employee Engagement, Why is it Crucial, and How can you Improve it in your Organisation?
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