Business owners, have you considered implementing a performance management process to help align employees with your company’s main goals? Performance management processes are great alternatives to giving employee performance reviews, though we do also make performance reviews easier by providing this free template for performance reviews. There is also a Team Scorecard feature on the Broadly Engage App that assists in monitoring the customer experience as it relates to each individual team member. Pretty cool, right? We thought so.
In addition to performance reviews and scalable digital insights, another big factor to creating a thriving business is a successful performance management process.
What is Performance Management?
We’re so glad you asked. Not to be confused with performance appraisals or reviews, performance management is when your entire staff comes to a shared understanding of how each employee contributes to the company’s goals and success. So, when you implement a performance management system, the system is focused on aligning your workforce, building employees’ skills and competencies to improve their work performance, and, ultimately, create a more successful business.
Not only is performance management great for the business owner, but it also fosters a more inspiring environment for your employees, one in which they feel valued and like they have a say in the achievement process (because they do!). With performance management systems, both the employer and employees win in terms of fulfillment. We promise your customers will notice, too!
Performance Management Process Steps
If you want to establish a successful performance management process in your company, there are five steps to familiarize yourself with.
Planning Your Performance Management Process
This first step takes a little legwork, but it is worth it. Call your employees at a meeting and begin to introduce the method of performance management. Now is a great time to explain how each employee’s contributions are directly related to the company’s success—this way everyone is on the same wavelength before you implement a new process. From here, you (or the supervisor) create the employees’ performance plans based on the goals you set.
Don’t be hesitant to discuss the strategic and operational goals with your staff—the clearer the communication, the more room you have for true improvement. After you set the company goals, the employee performance (or development) plans stem from how you believe their current competencies match up with the work needed to reach those goals. Let employees know their precise job descriptions, duties, and your expectations of them in their roles.
Monitoring Your Performance
Next up, you wait. You watch, and you wait. This next part of the performance management process requires diligent attention on your end, but, again, it’s worth it. If you truly want to fix the weaker links in your company, you have to find them. To find them, monitor each employee’s performance as often as you can—not exclusively during specific review periods. With a finger on the pulse of your company—the people who help keep it afloat—you are able to identify where employees may be coming up short in comparison to the performance plans you created for them.
Wondering how this process differs from performance reviews? Well, the whole time you’re monitoring, it’s advised to correct the employee each time they are not aligned with their expectations. Not in a scolding way, but as a conversation—explain to him or her why their actions are not working well and how they impact the company. This way, you can either alter a timeline or make a course correction to ensure goals are met.
Employees are often surprised by some feedback at performance reviews. It’s best when employees are aware of their progress, no matter if favorable or unacceptable because then they have the opportunity to improve much sooner than a review meeting. Thus, the performance management method instead slashes the mystery and becomes much more proactive than simply holding performance review meetings once or twice a year.
Development Plans for Employees
Did you correct an employee, and they continued to make the same mistake? This next stage is for further development when an employee was not able to meet their expectations. Remember, though: Employee development is not only to be used as a remediation technique but also a way to enhance good-performing employees. Some options for employee development might be:
- Formal training in a classroom
- Informal training online
- Coaching or mentoring from you or someone else in-house
- New assignments or additional responsibilities
After you’ve completed the other step, it takes a look at what has perspired so far. From monitoring your employees, you should have a good record for each person, where they excelled, and where they fell short. Then, you can compare those files to the original performance plans you compiled. Comparing the data, you can come up with a rating of the employee. This record is to be used to gauge employee performance over a course of time. The best part of all is that the employee should be in no way surprised at their rating score because they had plenty of moments to discuss their performance with you during the monitoring period.
Don’t forget that you can also use the Broadly Engage App to receive additional employee insights as they fare on the consumer-facing front. If you use a review service, this app is a must for integrating customer relations into your company development plans.
Now comes the fun part. If you had some really excellent standout employees, reward them! How you choose to reward employees is up to you—just remember that stark distinctions should be made when choosing what types of performances are rewarded. Consider what constitutes a fully-completed job and an instance in which the employee truly over-delivered—they are different accomplishments and should be awarded as so.
During this stage, use this as an opportunity to motivate lesser-performing employees to reach their goals next time. When they see that there is value in completing or surpassing their goals, they may have more motivation to work towards improving and reaching them.
Though it comprises of five stages—planning, monitoring, developing, rating, and rewarding—the performance management process is a great way to improve your small business by improving the people who work for you. Never underestimate the power of a motivated and dialed-in employee!