4 ways to optimise performance management

In today’s modern workplace, HR professionals are eager to enhance their performance management strategy to be the key driver for business’ success. After all, a strategy which incorporates the right elements can directly correlate with the productivity of the workforce and most importantly, the profitability of the organisation. 

Despite these positive intentions, more than half of managers (58% to be exact) dislike their own company’s performance management process and would give it a grade of C or less. Taking this into account, here are 4 ways to optimise your performance management strategy.

Reshape traditional performance reviews

Out with the old and in the new, right? This is the exact principle that should be applied when it comes to the ineffective, mid-year and yearly reviews. From an outside perspective, many employees feel sitting down with their line manager once or twice a year offers no inspiration, professional development or value – and with such distance between each review, it’s no wonder why poor performance goes unnoticed. 

For many businesses, performance reviews are seen as ‘the right thing to do’, and with only 14% of employees strongly agreeing their performance reviews inspire them to improve, it’s time that HR ask themselves ‘are these reviews effective for my workforce’?

If you find that your answer is no, it’s about time you address the situation by turning your managers into coaches. By encouraging this, you’ll allow managers to look beyond performance numbers and start to have real conversations with employees, conversations which target questions that unlock the employee’s dreams and goals within the organisation.

By no means will this be a short-term fix, but by promoting your managers to have casual conversations rather than forced reviews, employees will begin to be more productive and release energy that allows the entire workplace to thrive.

Be the reason your employees progress

As touched on, career growth is an essential component for an employee performance process to be successful. Essentially, it’s all about setting the foundations to create a capable workforce that can efficiently and effectively deliver desired outcomes.

On average, employees now stay 4.5 years in each organisation. Still, if there are no opportunities to fulfil learning opportunities and progress their careers in the workplace, employees will quickly understand this organisation is not right for them. To add to this, 77% of CEOs are concerned that a key skill shortage is going to impair the growth of their company.

Both these stats highlight the need for personal development, and who better than HR to drive ample opportunities to progress an employee’s career? If you’re wondering how to deploy a modern learning service, look no further than the examples presented below:  

  • Establish an LMS (Learning Management System) within your organisation. These tools will provide high-quality, informative videos which help employees learn new skills and techniques.
  • Based on the employee’s goals established with their line manager, identify webinars, conferences and exhibitions for a group of employees to attend throughout the year.
  • Provide opportunities for highly-valued and experienced members of the organisation to produce learning content through easy-to-use tools so they can produce guides themselves.
  • In using your HR system, uncover the gaps and skill shortage via the competency feature to compare the employee’s current rating vs where they need to be.
  • Conduct research via a survey or adaptive questioning tool to highlight and pinpoint the most significant skill gaps across the whole organisation. Assign courses based on the skill gaps using your LMS system.
  • Encourage line managers to coach and mentor to facilitate learning at a basic level, ensuring there is progression each and every day the employee is with the business.

Provide your workforce with positive feedback

Put simply, positive feedback is a token of encouragement and is one of the single most powerful things a leader can provide to their workforce. Once delivered in a timely and well-deserved situation, praise empowers employees with the drive to action desired goals and strengthens the morale of the organisation.

Data from a 10-year study looking into more than 200,000 employees found that 79% of employees who quit their jobs cited a lack of appreciation as a key reason for leaving. In contrast, the same study identified that consistent workplace praise helps employees achieve better results, with 66% of employees claiming ‘appreciation’ as a significant motivator of performance.

Ensure every employee is recognised for their hard work to a bigger contribution, from the unsung heroes right up to the project manager. In doing this, it will improve the individual’s self-esteem. Equally, if you identify an underperformer’s weaknesses, provide praise once you notice any demonstration of a change. 

Of course, it’s impossible to recognise every single employee for their hard work and contribution to the bigger picture. However, what if HR could integrate a self-service approach to save their team and managers from identifying all of the organisation’s star performers? In using HR software, employees will be provided with the power to recognise their colleagues for all their hard work and emulate praise to the whole company. Thus, ensuring no performance ever goes unnoticed.

Immerse strategy with technology

A Workplace Trends study found that 45% of HR professionals don’t believe in the effectiveness of annual performance reviews, while 58% percent of companies still use spreadsheets for performance tracking. With the rapidly evolving workplace, doesn’t this sound like a pretty outdated and inefficient way to conduct performance management? 

With cloud HR software, like Natural HR, conducting performance management, has never been easier. You’ll be presented with the tools which help shape your culture, progress employee development, track goals and objectives, implement training and recognise employee contribution all through the following features.

  • Performance Reviews
  • Goal library
  • Competences
  • Succession Planning  
  • 9 Box Grid
  • 360 Feedback
  • Warnings 
  • Programs
  • Employee Recognition

Once you get to grips with the feature-rich suite, you’ll be able to effectively measure the success of individuals by tracking their performance against goals, personal targets and understand the impact they’re having on the organisation. Align the previous points mentioned with technology, and you’ll be able to see hands-on, how much your performance management strategy has transformed.

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About Natural HR

Natural HR is a cloud-based HR software company for growing businesses with 100+ employees. Since launching in 2010, we’ve been building a comprehensive suite of HR functionality that equips the small to medium-sized enterprise with everything needed to build an effective and efficient HR operation.

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