Managing employee performance

Priscilla Opuni Biney

The job of an HR Professional certainly does not end after hiring the right person for a particular job role. Managing employee performance has become an increasingly popular topic lately. Large and small businesses alike are taking a special interest in measuring and improving productivity and performance.

In this write-up, I will seek to share 10 must-dos that can significantly improve your day-to-day employee performance management. 

  1. Set clear expectations

Start this discussion as early as during your recruitment interviews. Set clear expectations on both sides.

What is your team’s performance standard? How does it translate for every employee based on their job description? Respect your employee and have him/her express their own expectations on the matter. Different individuals will have different performance levels, habits, or needs.

  1. Introduce performance coaching

This technique for managing employee performance focuses on the direct relationships between employees and their direct supervisors. The way it works is that every couple of weeks, a manager will have some coaching sessions with his/her team member, to discuss how they can improve their performance, by focusing on the present and not on past actions. 

  1. Empower employees

Don’t fall into the micromanagement trap because you feel like you would know better or you need to stay in control. Giving employees autonomy, while providing the right tools and resources, will empower employees to push their own limits and become more productive. Educate your team and invest the necessary time into growing them. That will not only lead to higher performance but also higher employee engagement and retention.

  1. Get valuable feedback

Little things matter and every small concern left unsolved can become a critical disengagement factor that leads to poor performance. Ask and encourage giving constructive feedback every step of the way. It may be uncomfortable sometimes, it may even become a routine, but it’s an essential process that helps you stay ahead of important performance drivers such as engagement, motivation, and development.

  1. Set goals

Working without clear goals that can be easily tracked and evaluated is a recipe for disaster when it comes to employee performance. Start with the end in mind. This goes for both an employees’ career path as well as for the overall business planning process. Set individual performance milestones as well as general team milestones and make a habit out of checking them regularly.

  1. Measure performance

Adopt or create a performance measurement system that works well for you and your team and stick to it. Circle back to it every day/week/ couple of weeks tops. Sometimes, getting to the finishing line blurs out how you got there, leaving you with no information to go on when you want to develop a more efficient performance strategy. 

  1. Adapt and adjust

Always be one step ahead and use the current performance results and the feedback received to adapt your system and make sure that it’s helpful.

  1. Gather improvement suggestions

Back to feedback, the mother of all good things. Push for organizational innovation, using internal ideas and suggestions; listening to employees, getting feedback, and committing to the improvement ideas that arise.

  1. Keep in mind the big picture

Remind employees how each of their actions influence the overall project or team objectives. Link them with your company’s business objectives so that they get a clear perspective on what their performance levels should be and why. Never skip the “why”. People are not machines; they are driven by ambitions, desires, and thoughts. Not having a clear perspective on their actions and the related impact affects their performance in a negative way.

  1. Increase happiness at work

It is said that people perform better when they’re happier. Managers can help ensure that people are happily engaged at work. Doing so isn’t expensive. The well-being of workers depends, largely, on the manager’s ability and willingness to facilitate workers’ accomplishments — by removing and or minimizing obstacles, providing help, and acknowledging good effort. Make open commendation a habit, it keeps employees motivated. 

Author’s Bio

The writer is Head of HR at UMB Capital. She is passionate about Human Capital Development. She enjoys providing support for SMEs who cannot afford to set up full-scale HR Departments. She loves everything about People & Culture in the corporate environment.

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