Why Managing Employee Performance Should Start at the Top?

May 16, 2016 | Performance Management, Professional Development, Real-time Feedback

Is your senior leadership team fully behind your organization’s process of managing employee performance? If not, why not? Peer reviews and performance management should always start at the top for the program to be as effective as possible. If it doesn’t, it’s unlikely to ever reach its full potential. 


Why? Because, as with any process or initiative in businesses both large and small, the support of management can mean the difference between success and failure.

Performance management shouldn’t be a completely top-down process, with employees only reviewing their direct reports. 360-degree feedback is more inclusive and representative of performance. That being said, buy-in to the system should always start from the top.

Belief in the process is crucial at all levels

While less savvy leaders might think it’s simply the ‘lower ranks’ who need to buy-in to the organization’s methods of managing employee performance, buy-in at any level is going to be harder to achieve without the support of senior management. 

It’s important to note that just communicating support isn’t enough. It’s definitely the case that actions speak louder than words. No matter how often management say they support an initiative, it’s easier than you might think to tell if the support and belief in it isn’t genuine. And that’s going to have a knock on effect on morale all the way down the line. 

Building trust and improving results

When employees know that their manager are behind the performance management process it builds trust and motivation. And these are both things that lead to improved performance. 

The risk with managing employee performance, even when you’re using 360-degree feedback, is that it’s often seen by employees simply as a paper exercise. If senior management don’t believe in the process, why should the rest of the organization? When middle management aren’t supported by their own managers, they lack motivation themselves and will fail to motivate their own teams.  

However, if you get it right, you’ll be inspiring employees of all levels. Performance management won’t simply be a case of being told what to do. When senior management lead by example they can inspire the rest of the organization to really get behind the process themselves.  

Supporting and motivating employees of all levels

As well as giving direction to employees of all levels, and increasing their motivation to keep improving their own performance, support that starts at the top has more practical benefits. Leaders and managers who are truly behind a process can allow the time, resources, and even budget needed to make it a success. A supportive manager can and should agree what’s needed to make the program work. They will be willing to sign off on any resources that are needed.

Successfully managing employee performance

Setting up a successful process for managing employee performance, preferably using 360-degree feedback, relies on a number of different variables. One of the most important variable is to have senior management support. How well does your organization achieve this?

Give Primalogik 360 a try by creating a simple 30-day Free Trial today. Experience first-hand how we can help manage the performance management process.

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