Performance Management

Do the words Performance Management strike fear in your heart? Have you the shakes when the very words are mentioned?

Well, here is a few clues about how you can make it not just painless, but easy and positive experience – for all involved! The time has come!

“Performance Management is about having everyone succeed and improve.”

Robert Bacal

It is supposed to be a positive, generative thing – growing your people and their performance. Here’s how…

Top Ten Things About Performance Management

Creating win-win solutions for your business is the goal. With the potential of your people truly released, using effective and developmental, yet simple to use Performance Management systems, there will be no holding back.

This takes time to develop and there is no better time to start than right now.

This is a huge area, so here are some tips to get you started!

The best at Performance Management

  1. Make it Natural
    Whilst they are respectful of any required process and of the individual, they make the experience a comfort-zone. To be enjoyed, not feared; a carrot to dangle, not a stick to beat with.
  2. Focus on Success
    Those best at Performance Management have realised that their people are great; that they are already successful individuals. They help them create more success and celebrate the wins.
  3. Recognise Talents
    They recognise that each individual is very, very special. That they have exceptional talents and ask them to exploit those more. They work hard to avoid focusing on weak spots – everybody has them! But to find ways to get past them for the qualities they are bringing to the party, not wasting time focusing their shortcomings.
  4. Facilitate Growth
    Top managers of performance work in many ways to help people grow – they have the keys to turn their people on! And within this encouraging, stretching, challenging environment, there is a security in the culture which gives them confidence to takes risks, try new things and evolve to the next level.
  5. Have No Surprises
    There is no value in a Performance Management process being an ambush (ever been there?). During the natural and informal, day to day conversations they have with their people, minor issues are raised; small parts of bigger issues are tackled, in the moment. If the formal process is a big scary, rare event and unpleasant, it’s more about the boss!
  6. Are Consistent
    In the treatment of each individual; in the way they carry out any Performance Management process; in their timings and frequency, the best at managing the  performance of their people are consistent. Everyone gets the same, personalised, easily understood treatment.
  7. Make Time
    When the moment comes to the agreed timetable of performance reviews, our experts are careful to honour that person. Performance Management can be scary, however nice the people, so they make enough time available; they stop interruptions; they give their full attention.
  8. Create Do-able Goals
    Between them, those involved agree next steps which are SMART. They focus on what has gone well, on their best relationships in the workplace and what the reviewee wants to focus on in the next time period, based on their role; for growth; for fun; to build their skills and consequently their self-confidence!
  9. Are Supportive
    And if they need help, the best support with one-to-one coaching; resources; time etc.
  10. Model Self-Development
    Those great at Performance Management ‘walk their talk’. They take on their personal growth and development with a zeal – and, what’s more, they share their own development goals!

Ten Ways to be Better at Performance Management

  1. Talk to Your People Often
    By building a great relationship with your people you will bring trust, honesty and information. This gives you a head start in any Performance Management areas.
  2. Build Feedback In
    And ongoing two-way feedback processes (see Feedback) gets rid of the nasty surprises that gives Performance Management such a bad name. By building it in as a natural activity, you take the edge away.
  3. Be Honest
    By being frank and honest, which the preparation work in building a great relationship has afforded you, both parties treat each other with respect and see each other as working for each others benefit.
  4. Notice Great Performance
    When you see good stuff, shout about it! Let people know. Celebrate successes and filter this into formal processes.
  5. Have a System
    Performance Management is a process and needs some formality – especially for good personnel practice and record. This need not be complicated, but it needs to be organised and have timescales.
  6. Keep it Simple
    But do keep it simple. If you have a relationship with your people that is strong anyway, you already know what they are about. Formal discussions can be almost ‘informal’.
  7. Be Very Positive
    Celebrate great performance – focus on this. It’s about success an building on their strengths, not spending ages on their weaknesses – that serves no-one. Go with the positives!
  8. Achieve Their Needs
    Remember that we all have needs that we want fulfilling. By working wth your people to create outcomes that will do this, you will strengthen your relationships and channel effort in a constructive direction.
  9. Tackle Discipline
    Whilst it often happens, Performance Management is not about Discipline. That has to be managed in a different way (see Staff Discipline). By setting clear standards in your business that everyone understands and signs up to, discipline becomes much, much easier.
  10. Learn from Mistakes
    As part of regular on-the-job and informal review, mistakes will come to light; things will go wrong. By using the learning style described in Feedback, growth occurs and it becomes natural.

5 Simple Actions You Can Take Today!

  • Develop and communicate a process with your team for Performance Management and stick to it.
  • Set up a planned timescale for your Performance Management year and communicate it.
  • Start talking! Just build relationships with all of your people by getting into conversation – that’s all business is about – Loads of talking and especially listening!
  • Bring Feedback into your vocabulary – do it now, do it often and have fun with it.
  • Recognise and comment on great performance from now on. Praise is the best manager of performance.
  • A sixth! – Start noticing talent now and work with the grain. Get people doing more of what they do really, really well.

Read some great books like:-

“Now, Discover Your Strengths” – Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton
“The Tools of Leadership” – Max Landsberg
“The Fifth Discipline Workbook” – Peter Senge
“The One Minute Manager” – Ken Blanchard & Spencer Johnson