Building a strong culture of performance through performance management is critical to meet challenges, promote innovation and develop top performing teams. A strong culture of performance fosters a vision of “One Company, One Team” in your company. This vision will lead to teams and departments actively seeking proactive ways to drive value to the business and promote new levels of cooperation.
By aligning the goals and objectives of your company with the goals and objectives for your employees and by setting goals that can easily be measured you will establish an alignment of employee performance that with the company. When managers understand that their success is dependent on the success of their reports they will look at performance management in a new light.
The Keys to Building a Strong Culture of Performance
Performance management strives to optimize results by aligning all of the parts of an organization. With a well designed plan and good training you can build a culture of performance that will improve every part of your organization.
Performance management is the process of assessing progress toward achieving predetermined goals. Performance management is building on that process, adding the relevant communication and action on the progress achieved against these predetermined goals.
Develop Clear and Measurable Goals and Objectives
The starting point for performance management is to review the goals your organization from the top to the bottom. Every department should have their own goals that align with the overall goals of the company. The goals should be clear and in terms that can be measured such as time goals, production goals, spending goals and improvement goals.
Align Organizational Goals with Individual Performance
Now align the company and departmental goals with the employee goals. Once the goals are determined you must communicate them to each employee. This is an important step for the employee. You should make sure that your employee knows what is expected of them and how they fit into the department and company.
“If you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it”
Goals must be measurable or you and the employee will not know how well they are doing. Doing a good days work is not a goal. “Increase system efficiency by 15%” is a measurable goal. “Decrease departmental spending by 10%” is a measurable goal. Some performance management programs allow the employee to set their own goals. Regardless of how they are set, without goals and objectives you cannot measure if the employee has been successful.
To Measure You Must Record
Since goals are measurable, performance must be tracked. Baselines may need to be established. Using the results from the previous year is a good place to start. Whether the measure of the goal is time, quality, quality or dollars it must be recorded so it can be measured.
Always Look For Coaching Opportunities
“A failure is an opportunity for growth”. Never pass up the opportunity to improve your employees. Note I said IMPROVE, not berate! You will improve the performance of your employee better if you teach them about a mistake rather than scold them for it. Regularly review the record of performance to see if the employee is on track. They may require additional help or training to be able to meet their goals. Creating a culture of learning is an important part of creating a strong culture of performance.
Change the Review Culture
Performance reviews are usually dreaded by manager and employee alike. For performance management to work you must work to change that culture. Performance reviews are when the results are weighed against the goals. The review should include the original goals, the record of performance and the current results.
Typically performance reviews are given once per year. To build a strong performance culture in your company you need to perform a review at least twice a year or even once every quarter. Goals may need to be adjusted due to circumstances beyond the control of the employee. By reviewing performance on a regular basis the employee is not surprised at the end of the year by a poor performance review. Nor does the company suffer due an employees poor performance that has not been corrected.
Recognize Achievements and Reward Performance
At the end of the year the expectation is that the employee meets expectations. While it sounds underwhelming it means the employee performed as was expected of them. If the employee meets or exceeds expectations they should be rewarded for their achievement. If you expect employees to strive for better performance they need to know they will be rewarded for their hard work.
Performance management is often met with resistance. People do not like change and many will not like the measures placed on their performance. Over time both employees and management will see the benefits. Performance management focuses on results. It focuses everyone on the goals of their department, their company and themselves. It is a long-term initiative that puts focus on continuous improvement. In the long-term the benefits to the employee and the company will make it well worth the effort.
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