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How to Conduct a Gold-Standard Performance Management Review

Two business man in suit shaking hands on the work office.

How to per­fect your per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tem and increase productivity

A con­tin­u­ous approach to per­for­mance man­age­ment, where employ­ees can reg­u­lar­ly receive pro­duc­tive feed­back from their man­agers, is becom­ing increas­ing­ly pop­u­lar with organ­i­sa­tions. How­ev­er, any sys­tem or process is only as good as those car­ry­ing it out. One of the most com­mon per­for­mance man­age­ment issues is man­agers not con­duct­ing effec­tive per­for­mance reviews. So HR depart­ments need to take time to ade­quate­ly engage and train man­agers to con­duct effec­tive per­for­mance dis­cus­sions in order for the organ­i­sa­tion to see real ben­e­fits in terms of reduced turnover, height­ened engage­ment and increased organ­i­sa­tion­al success.

If you’re won­der­ing how your organ­i­sa­tion might improve its per­for­mance con­ver­sa­tions, we have com­piled a list of tips that can help your employ­ees on the way to pro­vid­ing stel­lar and pro­duc­tive per­for­mance reviews.

Come to the Per­for­mance Man­age­ment Review meet­ing prepared

Before the meet­ing, con­sid­er what you need to dis­cuss and any spe­cif­ic out­comes you would like. Be organ­ised and remind your­self of the employee’s per­son­al objec­tives and devel­op­ment plans in advance of the meet­ing. This will save time in the meet­ing and allow you to focus on dis­cussing any poten­tial bar­ri­ers to suc­cess and how these might be overcome.

Choose a calm, dis­trac­tion-free environment

Nev­er have a meet­ing in a hec­tic, busy room. Such an envi­ron­ment pro­vides a wealth of dis­trac­tions, and it means that your employ­ee won’t feel like he or she is receiv­ing the atten­tion and recog­ni­tion they deserve. Set aside the time and find a qui­et room, free from col­leagues and phones.

Make your employ­ee the focus and the priority

It is impor­tant for your employ­ees to know that you val­ue them and their role with­in the com­pa­ny. Set aside time for your employ­ee, and dur­ing that time make them and their work the focus. Dis­cuss how they are per­form­ing, explore their strengths and any issues they are hav­ing. Ensure they under­stand how their role can con­tribute to cur­rent busi­ness pri­or­i­ties and the over­all suc­cess of the organisation.

Keep it infor­mal but structured

Infor­mal check-ins are a great way to get the most out of your employ­ees. More fre­quent com­mu­ni­ca­tion between man­agers and employ­ees pro­motes open, healthy and hon­est com­mu­ni­ca­tion. This dia­logue means that you will be bet­ter equipped to deal with issues as they arise, ulti­mate­ly lead­ing to a more pro­duc­tive organ­i­sa­tion. Despite this seem­ing­ly casu­al approach to per­for­mance review meet­ings, how­ev­er, you should always remem­ber that struc­ture is integral.

Use per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware to help keep check-ins focused, ensure they are tak­ing place and cap­ture action points. This soft­ware will alert employ­ees when it’s time to check in, inform them of what is on the agen­da to dis­cuss and will allow greater vis­i­bil­i­ty for HR, who will be able to see that all employ­ees are get­ting reg­u­lar meet­ings with their managers.

Reward and recog­nise out­stand­ing behaviour

If your employ­ees are hit­ting their tar­gets, or if they are going above and beyond, be sure to men­tion this dur­ing your meet­ing. Don’t under­es­ti­mate the impor­tance of recog­ni­tion, which can be linked to improved morale, engage­ment and pro­duc­tiv­i­ty. Rewards don’t have to come in the forms of lav­ish bonus­es. A sim­ple expres­sion of your grat­i­tude for a job well done is often enough to moti­vate employ­ees to con­tin­ue excelling.

Focus on the positive

Whilst it is nec­es­sary for employ­ees to be aware of their short­com­ings, it is equal­ly impor­tant to focus on strengths and suc­cess­es. Rather than chastis­ing your work­force on their past mis­takes, place the empha­sis on how they can con­struc­tive­ly make a dif­fer­ence to their own per­for­mance. Be spe­cif­ic, use facts to sup­port your feed­back and avoid gen­er­al­i­sa­tions at all times. It will help to specif­i­cal­ly refer to employ­ees’ SMART goals and per­son­al devel­op­ment plans.

Be open to feed­back and change

Your per­for­mance man­age­ment sys­tem will nev­er evolve and adapt if you do not take on board the opin­ions of oth­ers. Ask your employ­ees peri­od­i­cal­ly if they think there are any areas with­in the organ­i­sa­tion that could stand to be improved and if they have any ideas. You might be sur­prised at how con­struc­tive these ideas can be and how they might rev­o­lu­tionise your company.

Address per­son­al devel­op­ment plans (PDPs)

PDPs are a great way of set­ting career and skill devel­op­ment goals. This should be a col­lab­o­ra­tive effort, where employ­ees can con­sid­er their own areas for improve­ment. It is a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to reflect on areas of strengths and areas for devel­op­ment so that the employ­ee can be more pro­duc­tive in the future. Man­agers should nev­er neglect the impor­tance of sup­port­ing employ­ee career pro­gres­sion, which can lead to reduced turnover, more skilled employ­ees and enhanced loy­al­ty to an organisation.

Col­lab­o­rate on SMART goals going forward

To max­imise per­for­mance, employ­ees need their goals to be clear-cut, straight­for­ward and mea­sur­able. Ded­i­cate a por­tion of your per­for­mance review to cre­at­ing and review­ing SMART goals. The act of col­lab­o­rat­ing on SMART goals can do won­ders for your organ­i­sa­tion. They pro­vide direc­tion and focus, they have been shown to increase engage­ment and moti­va­tion and they ensure that employ­ee objec­tives remain aligned with com­pa­ny goals.

Hold reg­u­lar per­for­mance review meetings

Per­for­mance review meet­ings that take place just once or twice a year can­not hope to achieve all of the above. These items need to be dis­cussed reg­u­lar­ly in order to have a pos­i­tive impact on per­for­mance. And the pay­back is well worth the effort — employ­ees whose man­agers check-in with them reg­u­lar­ly are three times as like­ly to be engaged.

Incor­po­rate the use of per­for­mance man­age­ment software

To make everyone’s life sim­pler, per­for­mance review soft­ware should be inte­grat­ed into your per­for­mance man­age­ment process­es. This soft­ware makes it easy for employ­ees and their man­agers to keep track of objec­tives, give feed­back and cap­ture actions and notes aris­ing from check-in meet­ings. Per­for­mance man­age­ment soft­ware also ben­e­fits HR by giv­ing them vis­i­bil­i­ty of per­for­mance activ­i­ty across the organ­i­sa­tion and by prompt­ing staff of the things they need to do so that HR doesn’t have to do the chas­ing. Top organ­i­sa­tions utilise online per­for­mance man­age­ment tools to their advan­tage and have seen amaz­ing results.

To find out how Clear Review can trans­form your per­for­mance man­age­ment, book a per­son­al demo right now via our online demo book­ing system