Performance management is the system you use to align your business goals with the work of your employees to:
· Get better results for your business
· Monitor and improve individual and team performance
· Understand individuals and how they need to develop.
Managing performance is about looking after the people side of your business and about taking your employees seriously – in terms of how they do their work, how they contribute to your success and the support and coaching they may need to overcome any problems.
There are three aspects to planning an individual’s performance. You need to:
1 Set objectives which your employees are expected to achieve. These objectives should be linked directly to your operational goals and your business vision.
2 Agree competencies or behaviours – this is the way your employees work towards their objectives.
3 Plan an individual’s personal development – any future training or coaching they need to achieve their objectives and realise their potential.
A line manager should meet regularly with an employee to review their performance. For the process to work effectively, managers and employees have to agree on the objectives and competencies for the job.
Objectives are the activities an employee is expected to perform in their post.
Objectives should be based on an employee’s job description and form part of the wider aims of the team and business. They provide a link between the job of the individual and the business vision, giving an employee some wider context for the work they are doing.
The ‘SMART’ acronym is a useful way of getting objectives right. Objectives should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timebound. If objectives describe the output achieved by an employee – the ‘ends’, competencies describe the qualities an employee needs to reach these ends – ‘the means’.
Performance meeting/Appraisal Checklist:
✓ state the purpose of the meeting and how it will run
✓ use your listening skills
✓ go through the agreed objectives
✓ open up the discussion
✓ highlight positive and negative performance issues
✓ be forward looking
✓ provide a written summary.
An employee is more likely to disagree with your assessment of their performance if you have not been giving them regular feedback over the course of the year. Make sure you have hard evidence to back up your assessment rather than relying on general observations.