Performance and Appraisals!

September 22, 2015

Keeping your eye on the business and improving employee performance at the same time can be a challenge; that is why performance management is so important in organizations. By its very definition, performance management contributes to the development of individuals and teams in order to achieve higher levels of organizational performance.

  • Do you have the skills and ability to coach employees toward peak performance?
  • Are employees clear on what is expected of them, do they have the tools to continuously upgrade their skills and develop their potential?

Employees may never reach their full potential until you first learn how to establish performance goals, clearly communicate expectations, identify the gaps between where an employee is today, the gains that are needed, and design a plan for how to get there.

Performance management cannot be a once-a-year event to be ceremoniously concluded by the completion and filing of a form. What good does it do an organization to have completed forms that only document lack luster performance? True performance management is more than tracking and monitoring what is. It must become an everyday conversation and relationship building process that managers initiate to create what can be. The power of the process is realized when employees are clear about what’s expected of them and managers use it as a collaborative tool to reach goals, and optimize performance.

Performance is the one thing that every company wants from its employees.  After all, isn’t that what they are paying for? Conducting review sessions that do not better enable or inspire improved performance just add to the costs. Recent studies on the state of the global workplace have concluded 13% of employees are engaged worldwide at work, the view in Western Europe does not look any better:

14% of employees are engaged at work
66% of employees are not engaged
20% are actively disengaged

Disengaged workers cost the economy $300 billion or more per year! Companies that actively engage workers profit more than those that don’t. If you look at Fortune’s “Best 100 Companies to Work For,” these organizations have averaged an amazing 200.6% return over the past decade.

Organizations with higher than average levels of employee engagement realized:

27% higher profits
50% higher sales
50% higher customer loyalty levels
38% above-average productivity

The bulk of employees worldwide 63% are “not engaged,” meaning they lack motivation and are less likely to invest discretionary effort in organizational goals or outcomes. And 24% are “actively disengaged,” indicating they are unhappy and unproductive at work and liable to spread negativity to coworkers. In rough numbers, this translates into $900 million not engaged and 340 million actively disengaged workers around the globe.

Business cannot operate this way. Well, they can and they do but we all pay the cost. Isn’t it easier to make effective communication a priority; spend time helping employees find the best tools; giving them access to the best resources, and helping them find reasons and incentive to put forth more than the minimum level.

With these kinds of statistics, managers might want to explore performance improvement strategies; increase their focus on employee development, seek out cross-training opportunities, provide more challenging assignments, and provide continual feedback.

You can’t just go to the employee when something is wrong that is too much time and energy wasted. You should take care to observe the employee often to find out how they work and where they may be making mistakes.

Lest we forget, managers are employees too. If you are taking action, are you putting forth more than the minimal effort? If you only think about performance management after you get your other real work done, what job do you have that is more important than developing your employees and shoring up the organizations most valuable asset? You need people to sustain the viability of the company.

There are seven performance enhancing strategies that you might try in service to the employee. Ultimately they are responsible for their actions but they also need you to:

  1. Assess performance, identify competency gaps, and then define performance objectives in precise and demonstrable terms.
  2. Communicate expectations, roles, and responsibilities through performance discussions that simultaneously build relationships, improve performance, commitment and accountability.
  3. Coach employees in a way that corrects performance deficiencies, reinforces appropriate behaviours, teaches new skills, and inspires them to higher levels of performance.
  4. Diagnose performance problems early and remove any barriers that may impede employee performance.
  5. Collaborate with employees and others to identify performance goals, support systems, and improvement strategies that will improve both today’s performance results and the skills needed for tomorrow’s challenges.
  6. Document all performance related discussions, quickly, confidently and legally.
  7. Retain your most talented performers, recognize all employees for their efforts, and reward great performance.

Sources: Gallup, the Incentive Federation, the Incentive Research Foundation, Maritz, World at Work.

Need more advice?
If you would like to chat to us about Performance and Appraisals for your company then please call our HR Professionals on  0845 458 5881.  Alternatively if you wish to receive our Appraisals factsheet then contact Fran

Some blogs you may also wish to read on the subject:
A brief history of performance management
Majority of companies are planning appraisals rethink
How to inspire your staff

Leeds based HR180 is a team of superheroes in HR Outsourcing, Projects and Consultancy committed to work in partnership with organisations of all sizes to establish working policies to go above and beyond Employment Law requirements, to protect both employees and employers alike. We love to hear from you, so call us on 0113 287 8150 or hit the Rescue Me button.

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