Your performance management process is an important part of managing your employees overall. It’s a crucial element in reaching the goals of your business and having a healthy HR recruitment and retention expectation. But a performance management policy needs to be more than just annual employee reviews – it needs to be a whole series of conversations, communications, directions, and development that happens on an ongoing basis between managers, HR, and employees.
Many employers have deprioritized a holistic performance management process and instead focused more efforts on recruiting or other HR responsibilities. The truth is that performance management processes are a valuable way for businesses to improve not only their employee productivity but their business growth as well.
The benefit to the performance management process
1. Better planning
Performance management ultimately helps you and your employees get on the same page about goals and expectations, from personal job goals to overall business goals and how the two work together. The performance management process starts in HR with attracting the kind of employees that will help achieve the goals of the position and also outlining the necessary requirements for the position. HR should also work with all managers on helping them learn how to communicate feedback and expectations with their employees. One performance management best practice is to get employees involved during their onboarding practice so that there is accountability between HR, management, and all new hires. This gives everyone an opportunity to be part of the conversation to ask questions and gain an understanding.
2. Look at progress more completely
Businesses want to make sure that they’re giving feedback to employees more than just at formal, annual reviews. Managers who incorporate more ongoing or informal feedback through conversations, meetings, and other modes of communication can keep employees and managers both on top of addressing any challenges. It’s also important to try to bring in feedback from other sources, such as coworkers, peers, direct reports, and even customers or clients. These additional sources of feedback and information can lead to better performance.
3. Recognize employee contributions
Taking time to recognize your employee’s hard work is a crucial part of your performance management process. Depending on your business and your budget, you can acknowledge employees with bonuses, promotions, thank you notes, conversations, or a more formal rewards system. One research study noted that 82% of Americans don’t feel recognized by their supervisors for their work and many notes that they’d be likely work harder or be more engaged with the public, timely, and personal feedback and recognition from their supervisors.
4. Career paths and development
One of the most important parts of the whole performance management process is to ensure that employees know if they have a future with the company or feel that their efforts are appreciated. Career feedback and development can look like a number of things based on your business. Cornerstone On Demand says that “Ongoing career development opportunities may include on- or off-site training, a challenging assignment or taking on new and bigger responsibilities. Manager and employee communication is a key part of this process; employees should feel free to experiment and make mistakes, be honest about what they want to pursue in their career, and know that their manager will advocate for them and help provide the training they need to achieve their goals”
What are the steps in performance management processes?
More than just planning your overall employee reviews, your process should include these goals and outcomes, starting before an employee is even hired to fill a role.
- Define the reason or need for the job, job duties, and responsibilities
- Define employee performance goals with measurable results
- Define the priority of each of the position’s responsibilities and goals
- Define the performance standards for each of the job’s roles
- Regular discussions that provide feedback about individual employee performance and include both positive and constructive feedback
- Maintain a record of performance through reports and other documentation in an official employee file
- Provide the opportunity for broader feedback. Use a 360-degree performance feedback system that incorporates feedback from the employee’s peers, customers, and people who may report to him.
- Develop and manage coaching, training, and improvement plan for employees not meeting expectations, as well as those who are looking for career development
Modern-day performance management processes help keep your HR efforts organized and your business running smoothly. A formal process of what’s included in performance management as well as how it’s documented is key in developing your own internal performance management best practices, leading to clearer management, more productive employees, and higher morale within the company.
Developing performance management processes is key to ensuring the longevity of your organization. Making sure your teams know their responsibilities and are meeting them is important in moving forward and growing your business, from revenue to employees to customer engagement. Investing in your employees is an investment in your business and your future.