Performance management has avid supporters and detesters in equal measures. Even the mention of it sends some people into a downward spiral!  What is the problem?

Changing environment

Performance management was little used when teams were smaller and the workplace less complex. Managers were in daily contact with their people, and they had the opportunity to give instant feedback. However, as organisations grew and managers moved into their own offices, and the demands for delivery rose, there was a need to measure people and performance to ensure organisational goals.

Companies introduced Performance Management to provide a clear understanding of people’s roles and the organisation’s expectations of them. It details the key performance indicators (KPIs), also known as KPA (Key Performance Areas) and other similar names. It is a critical component in organisational alignment.

Focus on the positive

When approached in a positive, non-judgmental way, performance management can help refocus and re-energise individuals, helping them see how they form an integral part of organisational success!

Timely feedback can prevent mistakes, provide mentoring and knowledge-sharing opportunities, and show interest and commitment to the individual. In addition, when they see how their output connects to the big picture, it inspires them to bring their best efforts to the work, as they can see its importance and relevance.

Managers often say that they are too busy to spend time on performance management. How strange is that when the job of a manager is to manage people and performance! However, the reality is that many managers have not been performance managed themselves or not have received the appropriate training. Hence, they are unskilled and reluctant to get involved in the performance management process. Often, they do not have essential conversations timeously. The review turns into a negative discussion based on weaknesses, bringing up all the adverse issues of the last few months. They then expect the individual to accept an unfavourable rating with a smile.

Managers need to be willing to give and receive feedback. The objective of the performance management discussion is to clarify expectations, understand issues and challenges that may get in the way of achieving these. The role of the manager is to remove these barriers to enable performance to happen. They should be looking at the developmental requirements for the individual and be honest in their expectations. Positive recognition must be given where it is deserved, and a fair measurement process ensured.

The quality of a performance management discussion is primarily dependent on the skill of the manager.

If you need assistance with your processes or training managers to facilitate important performance discussions, contact us today.

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