Performance Management and Communication
Performance management is a feedback loop that evaluates progress and helps employees work on meeting goals. These goals should be expressed in metrics to ensure that there is no ambiguity in determining whether or not the goal is met.
Performance management is the mechanism by which employees can come to understand how they are doing, the second of three things critical for employee success.
No, we’re not talking about that dreaded annual appraisal that we all love so much. Performance management is about 365 days of communicating effectively rather than one day of judging. In the world of leadership, if communication is the soft skill, then performance management is the process that ensures it gets done.
In the industrial economy, machines had all sorts of dials and levers that managed performance on a minute by minute basis. An employees job was to watch those machines and their metrics in order to make adjustments on a periodic basis. A manager’s job was to collect that data and report it up the line, Everything was about measuring process.
For some reason, we have forgotten this and don’t spend enough time measuring and reporting in the new economy. The goal of performance management is to manage and improve employee effectiveness. It is not a once a year event but a continuous process to enable a manager to work with his or her employees to plan, monitor, and review an employees objectives and his or her contribution to the attainment of the strategic plan.
Many people confuse performance management with performance appraisals however the appraisal process is only one part of a comprehensive performance management system. When the performance appraisal system is the only thing done in performance management it is bound to fail.
With metrics and goals on hand, employees will need to report on their goal attainment on a regular basis, preferably monthly. This should be accompanied by a meeting with their manager to discuss goal attainment and any corrective action that needs to be taken. This process will also enable managers to determine what training and development may be required for someone to be able to meet goals.