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What is the Most Effective Performance Management Tool?

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This rev­o­lu­tion­ary ele­ment will sky­rock­et busi­ness success

Read our new Performance Management Trends for 2018 article

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.