It is commonly believed that what can’t be measured can’t be improved. Fortunately, the performance of your employees can be measured and reviewed, and thus be improved.
Most companies have an annual review of how their employees performed during the past year. This yearly cycle coincides with financial year closure and beginning of the new FY. This arrangement allows organisations to a) give out bonuses or performance based incentives and b) plan their budgets based on the new costs as a result of salary hikes. While an annual review makes sense from a financial point of view, it does not provide any opportunity to course-correct the employees during the year. The lack of course-correction impacts the performance of both, the employee’s and the organisation’s.
Companies are now shifting to continuous performance management, where employees discuss their performance with their managers more frequently. The frequency is determined by mutual agreement and requirement of the individual employee. The advantage of this approach is that there are no surprises when the employee and manager review performance as part of the year end cycle.
A continuous dialogue between employees and their managers with respect to performance goals and objectives that were mutually agreed at the start of the cycle has shown to be highly beneficial . Managers can then do their best to ensure the employees meet their goals. They can continuously monitor the employee’s work and provide assistance as needed- whether it is coaching, training, new tools or anything else that is required to complete the work and achieve the objectives. As you know, employee objectives are a trickled down version of the company’s goals. Only when all the employees are successful would the organisation be successful.
Performance management should be as objective as possible and not depend on the judgement or biases (if any) of the manager.
By drawing up a good framework, organisations can help employees realise higher levels of their performance at work. Here are some important guidelines to make these reviews more purposeful and meaningful:
A good plan is what most successful outcomes start as. So, build a detailed plan consulting all stakeholders of the process.
When work is assigned to the employee, the manager needs to provide clear expectations of the outcome. Most companies insist that the goals should be SMART:
For each of the goals, the rating scale agreed during planning should be applicable without any ambiguity. If you are wondering how to write/create SMART goals, Atlassian spells it all for you.
It may sound daunting at first, but if planned correctly, both manager and employee can spend enough time reviewing progress on the agreed goals, without needing to micromanage. It is a planned engagement between the employee and manager where they can review what was planned for in the last such meeting. Like for any meeting, it is important to be prepared. The outcome of the meeting and agreed observations should be documented for future reference.
Either party does not have to wait till the next scheduled meeting if there is a need to exchange ideas or give or take feedback on performance as it helps course correction and better outcome.
All of the recorded information could be summarised for the year end review. Since the manager and employee have been discussing throughout the period, they both can quickly agree on the ratings and plan for the future.
Many organisations use a performance management software (PMS for short). You should too. The advantages of having a PMS are that
Choose a PMS that –
When done in a structured way with the intent of making your employees successful, performance reviews help both the employees and organisation immensely. On the other hand, if you get it wrong, it adversely impacts the growth of the organisation as well as the employees.
Focus on the significant decision-making tasks, transfer all your common repetitive HR tasks to factoHR and see the things falling into their place.