This is the only article you need to read to manage employee performance effectively — from goal setting to performance monitoring to employee development.
Managing employee performance is a key priority for every organization. With the rise of the knowledge economy, it has become quite evident that an organization’s human capital is one of its biggest assets. Invariably, leaders globally are identifying and experimenting with new ways to manage and improve employee performance.
For a long time, performance management has been equated with reviews and feedback. However, most organizations are now adopting a more comprehensive approach for managing employee performance.
If you believe that performance management goes beyond reviews, you are in for a knowledgeable read.
Based on years of industry research and experience of working with fast growing organizations, we have been able to identify that there are three major components which collectively contribute to managing employee performance.
In this article, we will take you through a deep understanding of each of the three components and how you can facilitate effective performance management.
In the first element of managing employee performance, you need to be clear on what your team members are performing towards. This requires setting key goals on individual, team and organizational level. Setting goals effectively can enable you as well as your employees to gauge where the performance is expected to go, making performance management seamless.
However, performance goals must be set strategically and there must be an alignment between individual, team and organizational goals to ensure collective success. There are two facets to managing employee performance when it comes to performance goals, first is the types of goals and second how goal setting should take place.
We have a free guide on how to set and align goals effectively. Click here to download the PDF.
Based on the intent, scope and impact, you may find three types of performance goals for your fast growing organization:
Role specific goals for managing employee performance talk about major goals that align with the responsibilities mentioned in the job description. When you onboard any employee, you set a job description for the role you seek to get them for. The goals highlighted in this job description are primarily the role specific goals.
For instance, if you hire someone in the marketing team, the role would be to ensure better product reach and brand awareness. Essentially, this will become a goal, against which performance will be measured and improved, i.e. managed.
The second type of goals which can help manage and monitor performance revolve around project goals. These goals are more specific in nature and are generally time bound.
They are meant to be achieved in a particular time frame (the time of the project) and change once the project is over. Managing employee performance here depends on how well and to what level these goals have been achieved.
The final type of goals for managing employee performance talk about behavioral goals. If you take a close look, you will realize that the first two types essentially talk about what has to be achieved.
This third type talks more about the behaviors and patterns that must be achieved while achieving the above two types of goals. Behavioral goals mostly have a longer life than role based and project goals.
Once you understand the type of goals and have a broad agreement on different aspects of the same, you should focus your energy towards actually setting the goals. Goal setting should generally be a collaborative and collective process where managers, leaders and employees all should have a voice.
Collaborative goal setting ensures that there is greater buy-in, commitment and ownership towards the goals which makes managing employee performance more effective.
In this regard, you need to streamline your efforts across two major aspects:
OKRs or Objectives and Key Results is a goal setting approach that many fast growing organizations leverage to ensure that everyone in the team is on the same page and collectively works towards a collective vision. There are two facets at play here —
One, you need to set the objectives or the larger vision that you wish to achieve.
Two, you need to have a few key results that will help you measure and gauge whether or not you have been able to achieve your objectives or not.
Generally, you should have at least 2-3 key results associated with every objective to ensure holistic goal setting and performance management. Let’s take a quick example here:
Objective: Improve customer experience
Key result 1: Increase customer stickiness by 50%
Key result 2: Improve Net Promoter Score from 6 to 8
The example clearly illustrates that while the macro performance goal for employees is to improve customer experience, the milestones which will help determine the achievement of the goals, and are in turn sub goals include increasing customer stickiness and improving net promoter score.
We have a free 10 day Email course on OKRs to guide you through everything you need to know about setting, tracking and implementing OKRs in your organization. Click here to enroll now.
Most fast growing organizations today are adopting the SMART goals framework to ensure the performance goals they set are effective.
Specific: Ensure that the goals you set are clear and to the point to avoid any ambiguity
Measurable: All your goals must be measurable and result oriented to gauge the level of achievement and performance
Attainable: Keep your goals aspirational but not out of reach to ensure motivation
Relevant: Your goals must align with the organizational vision and employee objectives as well
Time Bound: The goals must have timelines to mark a start and end date to streamline efforts
Irrespective of the goals you set and the way you set them, it is very important to:
Setting of performance goals takes us to the next phase or component of managing employee performance which focuses on performance review.
Once the goals are set, it is important for you to constantly monitor the progress of your employee’s performance on the goals and determine their contribution to organizational success.
Here, it is very important to gauge employee pulse in real time. There are several reasons for this —
First, real time insights can help you track employee engagement and form a great base for performance review
Second, it will enable you to address any risks or challenges before they hinder performance levels massively
Based on the employee data collected through pulse survey and feedback received through regular team and 1:1 check-ins, you should focus on facilitating effective performance reviews. Performance reviews are a critical component of performance management.
There are several types of performance review systems that rapidly growing organizations today leverage. Based on your organizational priorities, you can either pick one of them or leverage a combination of a few to ensure maximum effectiveness. Some of the common types of performance reviews include —
Rating for managing employee performance generally focuses on adopting an objective approach towards performance reviews. It talks about grading employee performance on a scale, while taking different aspects into consideration.
The most commonly used one is the 5 point rating scale which starts from below average to excellent performance over 5 points. Depending on organizational comfort, either 1 or 5 are considered as excellent performance, while the other end of the spectrum denotes need for improvement.
Other rating scales include the 10 point scale, the Likert scale etc.
The importance of rating is that they form the basis for a fixed metric around which employee performance can be measured. It ensures that an objective and uniform approach is followed for all employees, which can be used as a basis for comparison of dedication, commitment and hard work.
On the simplest level, ratings can be on the achievement of a particular goal or objective, which makes the rating task specific. For instance, if an employee is able to achieve the task, with time in hand to go beyond the target, they surely deserve the highest rating.
However, there are a few other types of rating scales as well that will encourage you to look beyond target achievement into performance parameters that are critical for business success. The top two are mentioned below:
This particular rating scale has been used by many fast growing organizations to gauge the overall contribution of employees, and not just productivity. It seeks to rate employee performance on different characteristics which are instrumental for growth and success.
Under GRS, you may rate your employees on factors like punctuality, ownership, dependability, quality of work, collaborative potential, creativity, etc. These characteristics are essentially the guiding factors which enable employees to push their boundaries and achieve their goals.
The next rating scale focuses primarily on employee behaviors. This tool generally has two components to it.
The first is a performance dimension that organizations seek to review or measure. Attached to it are a few anchors which are graded on a 5 point scale, the cumulative result of which indicates the level of performance.
For instance, you might take the behavioral dimension as ‘accountability’. Here, the anchors would be, ‘takes responsibility for actions’, ‘does not indulge in blame games’, etc. The rating on these anchors can help create a final rating for accountability for an employee.
The next type of performance review that many organizations rely on is self-evaluation. This generally entails giving your team members an opportunity to reflect on their own performance and share key insights. It will help you get a chance to hear their side of the story about their performance, actions, impact, etc.
Self-evaluation will enable you to understand how the employees perceive their contribution to the organization and whether or not it aligns with your view. Furthermore, engaging in self-evaluation will give your employees to identify areas of improvement on their own which later you can collectively streamline and work towards.
Self-evaluation is critical for managing employee performance as it encourages employees to gauge a true picture of their performance.
Rankings primarily involve creating a stack of employees based on their performance in comparison to others. One of the top reasons organizations leverage rankings as a performance review tool is to get a comparative picture of everyone in the organization for decisions like appraisals, promotion, etc.
A 360 degree review is very important for managing employee performance, especially for fast growing organizations. Today, employees no longer only work with their managers. In the hyperconnected and collaborative workplace, employees work with almost everyone in the organization. Therefore, a review only from the manager will paint an incomplete picture.
Thus, you need to ensure that employees in your organization undergo a 360 degree review where feedback is collected from everyone they have worked with. This will help you manage their performance on different attributes and factors, and not simply on achievement of target.
You may want to collect feedback from peers to understand their teamwork and collaboration potential. Feedback from subordinates can help you gauge mentorship and leadership abilities, etc.
Finally, the last performance review type for the discussion here is Management by Objectives. This majorly revolves around the goals and objectives set in the beginning of the year, which become the base for review.
Here, performance is measured against the achievement of the set goals. Setting OKRs can really help in performance reviews with MBOs. It can help you gauge performance based on achievement of key results and collectively the objective.
To learn how SuperBeings can help you set and align the right goals, click here or book a free demo.
Now that you have a clear understanding about the performance review components or ways you can follow, it is important to also be cognizant of the pitfalls you should avoid.
To begin with, performance reviews are vulnerable to human biases. There are several factors at play here.
First, if your line managers are not trained to evaluate performance and you are following a rating review format, there is likely to be similar ratings for all, high, low or average. This lack of differentiation will make managing employee performance difficult as you will have an incomplete understanding of true performance.
Second, reviews are vulnerable to the horns and halo effect. In the former, a particular negative aspect of the employee tends to cloud all other performance indicators and the employee gets an overall lower ranking than they deserve. In the latter, the opposite happens. A particular positive aspect of performance guides the entire review leading to a better rating than deserved.
Third, the notion of personal bias and favoritism comes in. As humans, we are all vulnerable to having favorites. However, when this manifests itself in performance evaluation, a few favorites of the manager might receive better reviews as personal feelings dominate this objective process.
This is where using an employee performance review software becomes crucial. Check out this quick 5 minute guide to understand what kind of performance review software your company needs.
The second major pitfall that fast growing organizations are vulnerable to is limited data for reviews. Due to limited bandwidth, you may be unable to gather all important information about employee performance from the employee themselves as well as all others who have worked with them.
This limited data might not contain components instrumental to gauging overall performance effectiveness. Invariably, when you don’t have a complete picture of the performance, managing the same will be difficult.
This is why most organizations use AI based tools to gather and analyze employee performance data. Here’s how you can choose one for yourself too.
Finally, the last performance review pitfall that you should avoid is the recency effect. In the absence of a continuous approach, organizations fall prey to evaluating only the latest performance and do not get a comprehensive picture of the entire year.
The major focus is on the latest events, which may not reflect the true performance caliber of the employee, hence compromising the effectiveness of your managing employee performance journey. Using employee performance snapshots throughout the year can be a great way to eliminate recency bias.
The third and the final component of managing employee performance revolves around performance improvement. Once you have reviewed the performance of your employees, your focus and energy should move towards improving the same to facilitate individual, team and organizational development.
Performance improvement is not just about identifying weaknesses and areas of development, but involves actually creating an action plan at all levels to bridge performance gaps. That’s what performance management is all about. We have identified a few practices that businesses can leverage to facilitate performance improvement for their employees.
You should focus on creating a culture of recognition and appreciation. Here rewarding high and good performance will be instrumental. Even if you have limited budgets, a paid day off, a voucher or social recognition are ways to reward your employees. There are two ways rewarding performance begets performance improvement.
First, it will motivate top performers to keep up the good work when they believe their commitment is being valued and appreciated.
Second, it will incentivize others to also go the extra mile to be a recipient of the rewards and recognition.
Creating performance improvement plans is extremely important for managing employee performance. This generally involves identifying key development areas and aligning them with learning opportunities to ensure performance improvement. However, a crucial element here is conducting meaningful 1:1 conversations.
Check out this list of top 50 1:1 meeting questions to prepare for your next conversation.
Managers should ensure that they have a real time insight into every aspect of employee performance to preempt any risks or challenges. Based on this data, they must focus on having streamlined and impactful conversations with their employees to address any gaps that exist.
This will in a way be a parallel approach to coaching employees, without making any big investments. If you feel your managers need support for the same, you might want to explore platforms that can help you provide AI driven guided conversation template recommendations to help with the right statements and resources.
It would be useful to create performance improvement plans for each employee and document it effectively. In addition to basic details about the employee, capturing performance goals, reviews and feedback, resources, etc. can be instrumental in gauging trends and performance improvement data over time.
Based on the performance improvement plan, you need to ensure that your employees are able to access the required resources and get adequate support for improving performance. This is very important for managing employee performance.
It entails identifying the training required or investing in other resources that employees consider important for the learning curves. In addition to technical training, investing in mentoring and coaching programs, providing opportunities to innovate and grow are also important.
While providing resources and support for employee development is important, it is equally critical to ensure your managers are competent to manage employee performance. This involves equipping them with key leadership competencies and resources that can help them lead better.
You can rely on employee management tools to understand what key competencies are most sought after by the employees for performance improvement and encourage your managers to build the same. Leveraging heatmaps provided by third party platforms on the top competencies can be a good starting point.
Simultaneously, you need to ensure that your managers know how to handle 1:1 conversations and eliminate any biases mentioned above to ensure fair reviews and performance management.
Managing employee performance can be an overwhelming process especially for fast growing organizations that might have limited capital and human resources. Here, you can collaborate with a platform like SuperBeings to manage the performance of your growing team effectively. Following are some quick points you can benefit from:
‘Onboarding: How to get your new employees up to speed in half the time’ - George Bradt, founder and Chairman PrimeGenesis
Did you know that a strong onboarding process improves new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%?
However, only 12% of employees strongly agree their organization does a great job at onboarding new employees.
This clearly states that while employee onboarding has a direct impact on the bottom line, most organizations miss out on how to get it right.
Don’t let that happen to you. To onboard new employees like a pro, keep reading.
By definition, an onboarding survey is a questionnaire that is administered on new hires to gauge their initial experience and level of satisfaction, in an attempt to understand their engagement and retention potential.
As an HR, you can get multiple insights from an onboarding survey, including:
It can help you estimate how long the employees are likely to stay and how you can further optimize your onboarding process to make it more aligned with employee expectations.
An effective onboarding survey can help you reflect on your performance through the onboarding process, which directly impacts KPIs for organizational success, including:
93% of employers believe a good onboarding experience is critical in influencing a new employee’s decision whether to stay with the company. At the same time, 25% of a company’s new hires would leave within a year if the onboarding experience was poor.
20% of new hires are unlikely to recommend an employer to a friend or family member and an onboarding survey can help you identify the reasons for the same. However, new team members who were asked to provide feedback prior to their start date also had a 79% increase in willingness to refer others. Thus, illustrating how onboarding surveys and feedback can impact eNPS.
Read: How to use eNPS for better employee engagement
Employees with exceptional onboarding experiences are 2.6x more likely to be extremely satisfied with their workplace and 70% say they have ‘the best possible job’.
77% of employees who went through a formal onboarding process were able to meet their first performance goals. However, 49% of individuals who failed to reach their first performance milestone had no official onboarding instruction. An onboarding survey can help you determine the effectiveness of your onboarding process.
In addition, your new employees might also have an inclination towards providing feedback as a part of the onboarding survey, which you will lose out if you don’t conduct the same. Research shows that only 26% of new employees recall being asked for feedback on their candidate journey and the hiring process before their start date wherein 91% of new hires are willing to provide this feedback.
Now that you understand the importance of an employee onboarding survey, let’s quickly discuss how to effectively run an onboarding survey.
You must coincide your employee onboarding survey with important milestones for the new employee in the organization. Mostly, these milestones coincide with the end of the first few months. Thus, you should circulate your onboarding survey after 30, 60 and 90 days respectively, with different objectives for each. Furthermore, you can send interim surveys in case you feel the need, for instance, when the employee starts a project, or when the orientation process is over.
“Effective employee onboarding isn’t about swag, stickers, & company value pamphlets on their desk the 1st day. But, how you help them understand their goals & how co values are interwoven in operating are more important.”- Suhail Doshi, founder and chairman of Mixpanel, Inc.
Based on the milestones or cadence you have set up, it is important to identify areas you would want to cover with each milestone. For instance:
In the first 30 days, you should focus on themes like:
In 60 days, you can touch on themes like:
By the end of 90 days, focus should shift towards:
Once you have decided the themes, you can start building questions, a snapshot of which is covered in the next section or you can download the template now here. The themes can be fluid across milestones, depending on the context for your organization.
Once the milestone arrives, you should roll out the onboarding survey and drive participation. It is important to explain to your new employees why the onboarding survey is important and how they can fill it up. Give them the requisite time, deadlines and communicate what will be the next steps to encourage them to participate.
Simply rolling out the survey is not enough. You must reach out to your new employees to remind them to fill the onboarding survey as amidst numerous new things, they might lose track of it. Don’t push too hard, yet send subtle reminders to get genuine responses. For instance: employee survey tools such as SuperBeings integrate with chat tools like Slack, Teams, Gchat to send personalized nudges to fill out the survey in the flow of work at set intervals as well as allows them to participate directly without switching context.
Unlock a wide array of survey questions and employee analytics. See how SuperBeings can help
Once your onboarding survey responses are in, slice and dice them to get insights into what your employees feel and leverage the data points to further refine your onboarding process to facilitate engagement, retention and advocacy from the beginning.
Taking cue from the section above, here are 50+ onboarding survey questions that you can leverage to gauge the pulse of your new employees as they complete different milestones.
You can also download these questions as a template and use it whenever you need. Click here to download
By now, it would be very clear to you that an employee onboarding survey can help you in multiple ways to create a high performance culture. It can enable you to augment retention, engagement, satisfaction and advocacy among employees to ensure that there is minimal turnover and you are able to attract high quality talent. Ensure that you roll out an onboarding survey at 30/60/90 days frequency to check onboarding experience, knowledge transfer, manager support, role clarity, etc.
You should focus on other forms of employee feedback on culture, training and development opportunities, level of engagement, manager effectiveness, workplace collaboration, work-life balance, among others.
Finally, you should focus on leveraging technology and automation to add efficiency and effectiveness to your onboarding survey and process.
Research shows, automating onboarding tasks resulted in a 16% increase in retention rates for new hires.
Thus, consider partnering with a survey platform which enables you to:
How to use employee engagement survey comments
When it comes to performance management for employees, you would agree that feedback plays an important role. However, only offering positive feedback and appreciating the performance of your employees is not enough. You need to give them an equal amount of constructive feedback which is specific to ensure high levels of performance. If you feel that your employees may not embrace constructive feedback, think again.
Research shows that 92% of people believe that constructive feedback is effective at improving performance.
In this article we will help you understand how you can give constructive feedback and examples you can leverage.
Constructive feedback is essentially a tool that most forward looking professionals leverage to help others in their team with specific and constructive inputs on areas where one’s performance can be improved. Put simply, if you have an employee who doesn’t pay attention to detail, constructive feedback involves helping them acknowledge that this is a problem area, and more than that, enabling them with the support to overcome the same. It involves not only identifying a performance problem, but also, providing action items and ways to address the same.
Now that you have an understanding of what constructive feedback means, let’s quickly look at some of the top reasons why constructive feedback is important. Constructive feedback:
When delivering feedback, you must understand the difference between positive and constructive feedback and ensure that you use both of them where they fit the best. Here a quick distinction between positive feedback vs constructive feedback:
In a nutshell, positive feedback is a reinforcement tool, whereas constructive feedback is a mechanism to facilitate development.
With an understanding of the fundamentals of constructive feedback, let’s quickly jump to the best practices which can help you deliver constructive feedback in a nuanced and effective manner.
The first thing you need to focus on is ensuring that the timing of the constructive feedback is ideal. For instance, a busy period when the employee is putting in a lot of effort may not be ideal for giving them feedback about their performance from three months ago. At the same time, ensure that you provide constructive feedback regularly and consistently, to avoid recency or primacy bias. However, don’t offer feedback when you are angry about their performance either.
Before you get down to giving the feedback, set the tone. Share with the employee the purpose of the meeting and make them comfortable prior to sharing your reflections. It is important that you build trust so your employees can share their perspective and don’t feel intimidated by what you have to say.
Once the context and tone is set, start sharing your reflections. Your focus should be on sharing what you have observed about their performance. However, ensure that you also share how the same is likely to impact their career growth as well as organizational success. For instance, if you are providing constructive feedback about missing deadlines, you can use the impact of losing clients for the organization and a casual attitude marker for the employee.
When sharing reflections, use specific examples of when you noticed a particular behavior. For instance, in the above example, you can share instances of when the employee missed his/her deadlines. Ensure that you use examples which illustrate a pattern, rather than a one off incident, which is very uncommon. Furthermore, always use concrete examples and not interpretation of what you hear or see.
With constructive feedback, your focus should be on helping the employee improve their performance and work on their areas of development.
However, simply pointing out their weaknesses or negatives in their performance will not help. You need to also talk about some of the positive aspects of their performance and how those qualities can help them absorb and implement their constructive feedback.
Emotional intelligence is extremely important when delivering constructive feedback. You cannot be apathetic towards your employee when delivering the same. Put yourself in their shoes to choose your phrases carefully. We will share some examples in the next section. Also, use your EQ to read the situation when you are delivering the feedback. If you see that the employee is getting uncomfortable, take a pause and comfort them first. Read their gestures and body language to ensure that the employee is not feeling attacked.
Like it or not, constructive feedback involves pointing out one’s weaknesses and areas of improvement. However, you should refrain from equating the performance of the employee with his/her personality or whole self. For instance, if someone misses deadlines, encourage them to be more organized or prioritize important work, than labeling them as a procrastinator.
While you are delivering the constructive feedback, you have to make sure it is a dialogue.
The idea is to give the other person enough room to share their side of the story.
Try to understand whether or not they agree with your feedback and how they perceive the same. They may share the lack of support or resources, which have resulted in a weak performance. Be open to some reverse feedback as well. Again, your EQ must be at play here. If your employee has an outburst, or reacts negatively, you need to stay composed and calm them down.
Once you and your employee are aligned on the areas of improvement, the most important part of constructive feedback is to provide adequate solutions to address the performance challenges. Don’t give abstract or vague solutions like be punctual if the employee misses deadlines. Rather, give very specific and action oriented solutions which are directed towards a particular outcome. The idea is to collectively understand the cause of the weak area of performance and use concrete solutions to remedy the same.
Now that you have shared some potential solutions, you must revise the top action items with your employee to avoid any confusion. At the same time, you should focus on creating a time bound plan with key milestones to ensure that development is taking place. Summarize what was discussed and how you will proceed from there. Best is to set up a date to review the progress to ensure constructive feedback is paid heed to.
Read our article on Start Stop Continue Feedback to give action oriented feedback
Here are top 20 constructive feedback examples that you can use during your next conversation. To make your constructive feedback more effective, we have also illustrated examples of what you should steer away from.
I would really like to know how you have progressed on the tasks assigned to you last month. It would be ideal if you could share a progress update on what has been achieved with a small summary of challenges/ support needed at the end of every week to ensure everyone is on the same page.
You have not kept your team updated about your work, this is highly unprofessional.
I was going through the work you submitted last week and I can see you have put in a lot of effort. However, I could see that there were some small errors and inaccuracies in the report across multiple sections. I believe that if you proofread your work thoroughly before turning it in, it will reduce the number of iterations and improve your quality of work.
You seem completely distracted as you have been submitting flawed and below average work, this will not be tolerated.
I understand that you are working on multiple projects, however, you need to ensure that the most important projects are not overlooked and their timelines are not missed. Therefore, I would suggest you create a list of tasks you are working on and check with the respective reporting managers on the priority and set clear expectations to ensure that no deadlines are missed.
You have missed your deadline again, it seems like you are not serious about you work.
I see that you have been able to achieve only a part of the goals that you set out for this year. Maybe you were trying to spread yourself too thin. I would suggest you reduce the number of projects you are working on and ensure that the goals you set you are able to achieve. Furthermore, you must be vocal about the support or resources you need to achieve your goals.
Are you even serious about your work, your level of goal achievement indicates otherwise.
I see that you have been taking some time off lately, without any prior intimation. Let’s try to understand if there is a particular reason for the same. We can work on your schedule to make it more flexible.
You have been missing all meetings lately, this tardiness is not appreciated.
I see that you are excellent at execution of ideas. However, I believe that you need to focus more on coming up with solutions on your own. I would suggest participating more in the brainstorming sessions and coming up with solutions. Try to think on your own, before you reach out to others with the problem.
You lack any problem solving capabilities, and will be stuck to execution for the rest of your career.
Constructive feedback is integral to organizational success. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
50 top 360 degree feedback question examples
While performance management has been a key priority for organizations, for a long time, year end reviews were considered to be the most effective way to facilitate the same. However, recently organizations are observing a shift towards continuous performance management with an introduction of the performance management cycle. This article will focus on different aspects of the performance management cycle and how it enables unlocking the potential of high performance teams.
Before going into the diverse aspects, you should first understand what a performance management cycle essentially is. If you have an idea of what continuous performance management is, you’re already a step ahead in the understanding. Performance management cycle primarily is a way or a model in which you evaluate or focus on the performance of your employees throughout the year. The idea is to break down the different elements of employee performance into different stages and focus on them consistently. It starts with setting goals and ends with rewards for a job well done, which leads to setting of new goals and the performance management cycle resets.
While you may want to divide your performance management cycle into any number of stages, mostly there are four stages.
The first stage, at the very beginning of the performance management cycle, focuses on creating a plan for the performance ahead. The idea is to have a clear understanding on what your employee must achieve and how you will eventually review and evaluate them. During the planning stage, you and your team member, collectively should:
Thus, the planning stage of the performance management cycle sets the tone for the year ahead and ensures there is clarity at all levels.
Once the goals have been set in the planning stage, you enter the monitoring stage of the performance management cycle. This stage essentially focuses on ensuring that things are moving as planned. The idea is to ascertain that your team members are more or less on track for specific milestones outlined as a part of goal setting. Additionally, this stage will help you address any performance challenges that you may observe, sooner than later. Monitoring stage includes:
The monitoring stage essentially focuses on tracking the performance of your employees against the set goals to provide constructive feedback and help them perform better.
The third stage of the performance management cycle comes into existence towards the end. It involves reviewing the performance and providing ratings based on the established KPIs and metrics. While this is the formal review process, if you have been constantly monitoring the performance of your employees, this will essentially be a consolidation of all the reviews and feedback shared overtime. While delivering performance reviews, ensure that you:
Since you have been connecting regularly with your employees, the reviews will not come as a surprise to them, but will help you monitor the trends of their performance and guide the next stage for the employee’s professional growth.
Finally, the rewarding stage in the performance management cycle acts as a culmination to one cycle and sets stage for the commencement of the next. The objective is to take into account their performance over the performance management cycle and create a culture of rewards and recognition to celebrate and appreciate high performance. Some of the quick ways to reward your employees include, giving them:
This stage is important to make your employees feel valued and motivate them to keep the performance going. It will also push average performers to step up their efforts and enable you to create a high performance culture.
Now that you understand the various stages of a performance management cycle, let’s quickly look at why the performance management cycle is important for your organization. It will help you:
In addition to the above mentioned benefits, a performance management cycle can help you build a high performance culture in a number of ways. Some of the top aspects include:
What constitutes high performance can be abstract. For some, closing 5 deals can be high performance, for others, it might be closing 15. Planning stage in the performance management lifecycle will help your employees understand what constitutes high performance and thus, proceed towards it.
A key part of the performance management cycle is the rewards and recognition. When employees feel their performance is being valued and recognized, they tend to double up their efforts, leading to a high performance team.
Monitoring and tracking followed by 1-o-1 conversations can help you communicate with your employees regularly. Not only will you track their performance, but will also listen to their concerns or challenges and offer them feedback. Such conversations and feedback have a positive impact on performance, leading to a high performance culture.
One of the foundations of high performance is enabling your team members to undergo the right training. Performance management cycle can help you understand which training is important for your employees at which performance stage, realizing high quality results.
As a manager, there are several ways in which you can unlock the true potential of a performance management cycle. You are one of the key stakeholders who plays an important role in every stage of the cycle. Here are a few tips that can help you augment the effectiveness of the performance management cycle:
A performance management tool can significantly help you streamline your performance management cycle by offering the following benefits.
Get automated performance snapshots of your employee’s performance over the 9 box grid to track performance trends over time and provide reviews without recency bias.
Leverage guided templates with AI based suggestions for your 1:1 conversations with employees during the monitoring stage based on performance over time. Receive suggested talking points for goal-centered conversations.
Look at historic feedback to see improvement in performance and compare performance over time. You can also compare performance of peers over specific parameters.
How to create a high performance culture using OKRs
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