'Employee Performance management’ can easily be one of the dreadful lingos in your company, if you don’t do it right. Though employee performance management comprises employee engagement, development and performance appraisal, it is largely synonymous with performance appraisal.
Legacy companies with the traditional hierarchical structure as well as modern, hi-tech companies with flat structure both are alike in moving away from the “once a year report card” format of employee appraisal. And are reconcile with the fact that they can’t do away with it. HR leaders are discovering new methods and approaches to make performance management people-centric and productive. They want their new methods to be development focused, helpful for ongoing projects/tasks rather than a previous year’s performance analysis.
The silver lining here is the options are endless and can be innovatively customizable to suit your people and business.
First Set: Set your eyes on the right objectives
Before designing our performance management strategies, it is better to set our objectives and expectations right. What you want to accomplish for your employees, managers, HRs and company with this new performance process
Objectives for Employees – Development & Growth
Employees are your biggest asset and the committed co-author for writing your growth story. The performance management need not be just evaluative in nature but focus more on bringing out their true potential. It should serve their development needs, identify their strengths, weaknesses, and proactive in filling the skill gaps or playing to their strength.
The only thing that’s worse than training your employees and then having them LEAVE is not training them and having them STAY. – Zig Ziglar
Objectives for Team Managers – Collaboration & coaching
Managers are responsible for the timelines and quality of deliverables. They motivate and coach employees, guide them earnestly and lead one and all to the successful completion of the job. They need the right set of information and tools to watch out for trials and triumphs.
Managers need to step-in to provide constructive feedback to employees when required or recognize their achievements instantly to cheer them. Continuous feedback enabled performance management tool empowers managers to have continuous collaboration, performance conversation and share instant appreciation with the team.
Objectives for People Managers – Engagement & simplified process
For HRs, performance management is both human-centric and metrics-driven. They want to drive employee engagement and enhance employee experience with modern practices. It helps them improve their retention rate and builds an impressive brand image to attract new hires.
Also, they want to have precise performance metrics– the highs and lows, rating distribution, employee engagement level to create short and long-term HR roadmaps. For this, HR teams need instant and easily accessible analytics reports. Several HR reports should be made available to them without manual efforts – like collating papers, crunching the numbers and so on. The new performance management process combined with digitization should simplify and speed up their tasks.
Objectives for Organization – Productivity & Bottom line
A company as an entity thrives only when it operates profitably. Productivity depends on the people who work there and how engaged they are in their work. Continuous performance conversation, collaboration within the team, employee engagement and development are the prime factors that directly affect productivity. Your performance management strategies should comprise all these to improve the bottom line.
Second Step: Identify a tool with the right set of features
Once you have finalized your objectives for all the stakeholders, the next step involves finding the right tool that serves your objectives. Do your diligent research on the products available in the market, compare and analyze your findings.
A comprehensive HR suite may fit your purpose or niche performance management software that can be integrated with your existing HRIS gives more capabilities. Weigh your options thoroughly and choose wisely considering all the present and future needs.
Following are some niche features that are worth considering:
- Comprehensive goals and competency management with matrix structure gives better flexibility in a non-linear organizational hierarchy
- 360-degree feedback feature with options to include external stakeholders such as customers, vendors
- Categorization of continuous feedback such as appreciation, tagging to specific employee goal, and confidential notes
- Employee development initiatives such as skill training recommendations
- Flexible to conduct multiple reviews either monthly, quarterly or more for continuous performance management
- Value-added capabilities such as finding HiPo employees, deploying independent employee pulse surveys and other features that raise the bar
- Mobile App for easy anytime, anywhere access
- Some AI features don’t hurt if it fits within your budget
Third Step: Prepare a systematic initiation plan
Your careful planning and the perfect software don’t hit the mark if the change management doesn’t deliver. Create a top-down or bottom-up approach that suits you well, to induct the new employee performance management process and software. For instance, if your process includes continuous feedback feature, then create a right open culture that facilitates the free exchange of constructive feedback and appreciation.
Little strokes fell great oaks; with persistent and continuous campaigning and practice you can successfully integrate your process efficiently into your organization.
Each step is as important as the next in your strategic HR management. Your meticulous planning and execution is the only ally in this combat and helps you put up the victory banner in the end.
Take your first step today!