The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

3 Ways to Make Your Performance Management Process More Effective

perfromance-managementIf you were to poll a random number of employees about your organization’s performance management process, what do you think they’d say? Chances are, they’d lament that it is not helpful, that it’s just one of those “must-do” tasks or that it doesn’t add value to their work.

But don’t fret — you’re not alone! A recent study conducted by Brandon Hall Group found that 72 percent of organizations surveyed rated their performance management strategies as ineffective. One of the biggest barriers to an effective performance management process? The fact that ongoing conversations between the manager and employee don’t exist. Other studies reporting why employees don’t value the performance management process have found that the process is perceived as a forced process, doesn’t seem meaningful, is tied to compensation, is the only time a manager discusses performance, and doesn’t really impact work throughout the rest of the year.

So how can we as HR professionals help turn the tide of ineffective performance management? How can we help managers understand the importance of creating a hands-on, ongoing dialogue surrounding an employee’s performance throughout the year? Here are three ways we can make the performance management process more meaningful, more effective and more appreciated in our organizations.

1) Proactive Coaching. Proactive coaching helps leaders have more effective and efficient interactions with their employees. By using proactive coaching, managers can ask questions that aid employees in finding the solution to a task or problem. Behavioral interviewing — asking questions in a way that requires more than a “yes” or “no” answer — is also an important part of proactive coaching and can yield excellent results.

2) Two-Way Feedback.2012 study by the American Psychological Association (APA) reported those who felt valued were more likely to be motivated to do their very best and were more likely to recommend their workplace to others. Those who didn’t feel valued were significantly more likely to seek new employment within 12 months. How do you know if an employee feels valued? It’s as simple as employing regular feedback and direction. Managers should hold regularly scheduled, informal meetings with their employees to discuss and exchange ideas or share successes, challenges or concerns.

3) Individual Development Plans. Encourage employees and managers to produce their own individual development plans (IDPs) and prompt discussions surrounding their development ideas and aspirations. IDPs by no means replace performance management discussions or should mirror what is included in a performance management review. Rather they are a great tool that supports short- and long-term career goals and improves job performance. To learn more about IDPs, visit our e-learning site to register for our free course.

An increased sense of self-worth and self-esteem are key drivers in building loyalty, morale and greater efforts and can be achieved when we choose to create ongoing conversations with employees about their work and what drives them. When an effective performance management process is implemented, managers and employees will work more effectively to develop great working relationships, which will in turn improve organizational culture and increase productivity.