The Do’s and Don’ts of Performance Management Process
The performance management process assists managers in keeping track of employee performance. Through this ongoing process, managers can evaluate the performance of employees, provide them with constructive feedback, and arrange training sessions to further boost their performance.
However, despite the overwhelming positive elements, the performance review process can unintentionally breakdown due to certain factors. For instance, employees may feel they are being bullied by the manager due to the harsh tone in which the review is delivered. Further, in certain cases, employees may perceive reasonable management action as bullying or workplace harassment. Therefore, it is important to distinguish between harassment and delivering an effective performance appraisal.
To prevent such misunderstandings, managers should follow organizational policies to evaluate employee performance. For this purpose, you should consider the following do’s and don’ts of the performance management process:
The Do’s of Performance Management Process
Develop a Regular Feedback Framework
Treating performance management as an ongoing process is the key to effectively managing the workforce. You may arrange quarterly, biannual, or annual meetings with employees as per your organizational policies. However, managers must stay in touch with employees after meetings to provide them regular feedback such as identifying their opportunities for improvement and developing a suitable action plan to help them overcome those challenges.
This approach helps employees better understand their competency and performance gaps and reduces the risk of conflicts during performance review meetings.
To ensure employees don’t feel threatened by managers, it’s important to take reasonable management action in a reasonable manner. Providing constructive, yet targeted feedback whilst being supportive and empathetic provides an optimal balance.
Furthermore, employers should arrange regular training sessions to guide managers about the performance management process to reduce the risk of expensive workers compensation or Fair Work Commission claims by employees.
Prepare Well for the Meeting
Performance management is a meaningful process that can improve performance and reward top-performers. Therefore, managers should prepare a discussion agenda prior to performance appraisal meetings.
For instance, managers should prepare detailed performance reports of employees that highlights strengths and achievements, whilst also celebrating the opportunity for further growth and improvement. Moreover, you should also follow up on points discussed during previous meetings.
Follow-Up Is of the Utmost Importance
When it comes to performance review meetings, managers discuss employee performance and collaboratively define goals and action plans for the future. It’s essential to guide employees on how they can address factors that need improvement and build on their strengths.
For example, they may struggle to meet performance goals due to ineffective task prioritizing or excessive use of the internet during work hours. Employees are more likely to face these challenges in the era of work-from-home practice.
Aside from providing them with an action plan, you should keep in touch with them to ensure the employee is on track with their action plan. You should support them in their efforts to streamline performance.
The Don’ts of Performance Management Process
No Prior Notice of Performance Review Meeting
Performance review meetings provide employees a chance to discuss their performance with management as well as highlight the major work problems they experience. Hence they should get ample time to prepare for the meeting.
It’s never a good idea to hide information about meeting schedules and surprise employees at the last moment. As a result, employees may get flustered and fail to make the most of these meetings. So, make sure you inform them about the meeting in advance so they can prepare appropriately.
Ignoring Employee Issues
Not every underperformer is lazy or insincere with their job. At times, their performance may suffer due to workplace issues or personal problems. However, you can’t recognize those underlying issues if employees don’t get the opportunity to share their points of view.
The performance management process is a two-way conversation. Managers shouldn’t dominate performance meetings, but rather listen to employees so they can provide the necessary support to address the causes that negatively influence their performance. Knowing that management has their back, employees feel motivated to put in their best performance.
Setting Unrealistic Expectations
Stretch goals encourage people to broaden their horizon and become enthusiastic about achieving goals. However, setting unrealistic goals for employees can backfire due to the lack of planning.
During performance review meetings, managers set future goals for employees based on their current performance. But when goals are unattainable, then even the top performers can lose motivation. Realising that it’s not possible to achieve objectives due to limited timeframes and resources can manifest into stress that can cripple an employee’s performance in the long run.
Therefore, managers should ask for employee input when setting performance goals. You can listen to their concerns and offer required resources so they can focus on their performance without worrying about unrealistic expectations from management.
Not Providing a Written Assessment
The purpose of the performance management process is to review performance and guide employees about how they can further improve. However, performance meetings won’t add much value if employees forget the key points discussed during meetings.
It is therefore imperative for managers to provide employees with a written copy of the performance assessment as a key reference point that will help keep them on track.
The performance management process is vital in evaluating employee performance by providing them valuable feedback and helping them adjust to their role requirements. To ensure the process is mutually fruitful, managers and employees should set realistic goals, openly and professionally discuss opportunities for improvement, and highlight any problems or concerns along the way.
Click here to learn more about the problems that arise due to ineffective performance management meetings.