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We’re all aware of the importance of performance management: the right combination of tools can motivate employees, align employee goals with company objectives, provide clarity and accountability and, most importantly, drive performance. But of all the performance management tools at our disposal, which is the most efficient? Which simple measure has been proven to drive high engagement and productivity?
By all accounts, the answer appears to be the regular one-on-one check-in, for reasons we will cover below. But given that only 8% of companies believe their traditional performance management process adds value, and that only 2% of employees would describe their performance appraisal system as “excellent”, it’s clear that many companies are yet to benefit from the principles of continuous performance management.
Regular performance management discussions increase levels of employee engagement
A Gallup poll revealed that employees whose managers hold regular one-to-ones with them are nearly three times as likely to be engaged. The same study revealed that frequent communication and interaction with management has a 70% variance on employee engagement levels.
During one-on-one meetings, the employee and manager can develop a relationship, have open, honest communication and eliminate the awkwardness associated with a yearly performance appraisal. These meetings also allow ample opportunity to discuss pressing concerns, personal issues and recent successes, while allowing for the exchange of frank feedback.
Regular performance management discussions reduce staff turnover
If you’re growing concerned over your retention levels, you might want to look at how your performance management system operates. The small addition of monthly check-ins might make all the difference between top performers staying or leaving for a rival company. As an example, Adobe introduced this performance management tool and as a result saw their voluntary turnover decrease by 30%.
Regular performance management discussions provide clarity on aims and objectives
Do your employees know exactly what their goals are, and what is expected of them while at work? It’s been revealed that only 50% of employees know what they’re doing at work, while 70% of employees say their managers do not provide clear goals and directions. This might sound remarkable, but when you really think about it, how often do you and your employees set and review SMART objectives? If it’s once a year during an uncomfortable, formal annual performance appraisal, it will come as no surprise that objectives are not fresh in your employees’ minds.
Regular performance discussions give you the chance to talk about goal setting. Both parties can discuss what’s going right, what’s going wrong, and whether certain objectives need to be altered. On top of everyone being more informed, your company will benefit from a more responsive, agile workforce.
Regular performance management discussions heighten performance and productivity
Once your employees are able to comfortably discuss performance issues with their managers, and are engaged and clear about what is expected of them, it is only natural that performance levels will increase. Putting in the effort to schedule and adhere to regular performance meetings means that, ultimately, you have a far more efficient workforce who are all working together towards a common goal.
How can performance appraisal software facilitate one-on-one meetings?
The collaborative nature of continuous performance management requires frequent, real-time feedback. Communication also needs to be monitored to ensure performance discussions are being carried out effectively. This is where year-round performance appraisal software can step in. This software can help by:
- Enabling in-the-moment feedback, without having to wait until the next one-on-one.
- Capturing action points from one-on-ones, so they are not lost or forgotten.
- Allowing objectives to be set collaboratively. SMART objectives can be updated at any point.
- Capturing progress and obstacles as they happen.
- Sending reminders when one-on-ones aren’t being adhered to.
- Giving HR the ability to ensure check-ins are taking place and feedback is being given.
- Allowing HR to collate performance and talent data without having to carry out lengthy, formal appraisals.
If you’re new to agile performance management and you’re looking for guidance, we can help you with what to discuss during your performance management discussions.These check-ins shouldn’t be lip service — in fact, if they are treated as such, they will ultimately amount to a waste of company time. Make sure each meeting is productive and constructive. Each party should leave the meeting feeling that they have accomplished something, and be eager to progress.
If you would like to begin incorporating regular performance discussions in your organisation, we have a free one-on-one meeting template. For more information on continuous performance management and how our software can help, book a personal demo of our performance management software now.