Conducting Performance Management the Right Way

Mar 14, 2017 | Performance Management

Invest in your best asset: your employees

Engaged and satisfied employees are at the core of every successful company. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. What does perplex and stall many organizations is how to best capture and manage employee engagement and performance. For decades we have been striving to do this, with varying success.

“A lot of our performance management systems don’t do a really good job of capturing ideas or insights…They capture hours or things that come off an assembly line, and the world just doesn’t work that way anymore.” – Brian Kropp – HR Practice Leader, CEB, The 3 Performance-Management Mistakes You Need to Stop Making

Over time ineffective and time consuming performance appraisals have given performance management a bad rap. Many have come to dread performance reviews, citing how long they take to complete, their subjective nature, their infrequent timing, and their inability to actually affect change.

Yet at the same time a recent survey by Deloitte found that 85 percent of organizations ranked employee engagement as highly important. So how do we combat performance management fatigue while effectively analyzing and monitoring employee performance. It is easy. You just need to the right performance management strategy!

The Right Way to Do Performance Management

“Disengaged employees simply don’t bring their best selves into work; they are bored and unproductive. This costs companies a lot in lost productivity and innovation”- Francesca Gino, Employee Engagement Expert, Cost-Effective Strategies for Better Engaging Your Middle Market Employees

So if engagement is crucial, how do you best go about it? We recommend a robust performance engagement model that includes performance appraisals and 360 degree feedback. Of course this all must be augmented with real time feedback, employee surveys and consistent communication. Let’s dig into how these pieces are different and how they fit together.

Employee Appraisals

A standard employee appraisal is between two participants – the employee and their manager. It usually looks at the employee’s performance over the last 6 or 12 months, or whatever predetermined time period works best.

The manager’s observations on performance, achievements and weaknesses are discussed. Then targets and goals for the upcoming review period are set. Depending on the company’s policy, the employee’s input might also be considered during a regular appraisal process.

360 Degree Feedback Surveys

The 360 degree survey also collects data on an employee’s actions, strengths and weaknesses. All of which are then used to evaluate overall performance. The difference is, unlike the appraisal, these surveys normally involve more than two participants. With a 360 degree survey it’s not only the employee’s direct manager who gives feedback. Other colleagues such as direct reports, peers, and anyone else who works with the reviewee on a professional basis are also involved. By collecting observations from different people, the employer gets a more accurate and less biased analysis of the employee’s overall behavior and performance.

Without 360 degree feedback managers are often left with just their own impression, plus that of the employee, if a self-evaluation is conducted. There’s no more input from others who may well have a more rounded view of certain aspects of the reviewee’s performance. This can lead to missing insights that can potentially stall employee growth and hurt the organization.

How to Do It Right – Combine the Two

Traditional two participant appraisals are still advantageous in certain circumstances. However, due to the limitations of a two person appraisal, we believe it should be used in conjunction with 360-degree feedback. You may not necessarily always want to use them at the same time. But combining a manager’s appraisal with a more robust and accurate 360 degree survey makes for an more successful employee performance management process.

It Doesn’t Stop There

To truly take employee development seriously you need to go beyond appraisals and 360s. Make sure your organization emphasizes coaching and continuous exchanges between a manager and an employee. Supportive management is key. In the end management can make or break engagement programs. Make sure management is

  • Setting clear and transparent goals – This will eliminate conflicting information and tasks. Everybody will be able to see what you work on.
  • Coaching not just evaluating – Employees want to be mentored and coached, not judged. It helps to invest in manager development and training. People usually become leaders over time and they learn from different experiences at work.
  • Executing agile performance management – Employee engagement and management is much more than just a yearly performance review.

Make Sure You Take Care of Your Employees

Employees are an organization’s most important asset. Yet a recent global survey by Gallup showed that only 13 percent of workers feel engaged by their work. It is imperative that you know if your employees fall in the other 87 percent.

It isn’t all doom and gloom! With the right performance management policy you can:

  • Ensure engagement
  • Increase satisfaction and retention
  • Promote excellence at your organization
  • Corrects employee blind spots
  • Align goals and expectations
  • Makes employees feel heard. Take necessary action after receiving insights. Otherwise employees won’t trust the system.
  • Highlight high performers for compensation/reward
  • Unearth pain points and potential coaching moments
  • Evaluate employee performance not on time at desk but on actual output. Effectively promoting an essential work/life balance

Every organization needs to understand the benefits of revised performance management methods and work towards better practices. But don’t worry it doesn’t have to be difficult. You just need the right partner with the right simple tools that can get the job done.

Companies of all sizes are realizing that Primalogik 360 has right tools to collect and analyze results from both appraisals and 360 surveys. Also, after using them they are suddenly free of the headache of data collection and analysis! Armed with the right platform managers and HR personnel can now focus on the more important tasks: employee management and development.

Don’t just take our word for it. Give Primalogik 360 a free try today by starting a complimentary free trial

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