Performance Management

What is Performance Management?

Performance management is a continuous process which ensures the performance of all employees is aligned to, and contributes to, the goals of their team and the organisation as a whole.

Setting clear expectations around what “good” performance looks like for each person in your organisations is essential.  It enables them to understand:

  • What the organisation is trying to achieve
  • Their role in helping the organisation achieve its goals
  • The skill and competencies they need to fulfil their role
  • The standards of performance required
  • How they can develop their performance and contribute to the development of the organisation
  • How they are doing against their objectives
  • What to do about performance problems if they occur

Very often the mere words “performance management” instill a sense of dread that something bad is going to happen to someone (hopefully not you!!).  It doesn’t have to be like that.

Defining what ‘good’ looks like, enables you to acknowledge good performance and encourage desired behaviours to be replicated by others.

We help organisations develop an attitude to performance management which goes beyond the annual appraisal process, spilling over into all aspects of working life, aligning activities and outcomes to organisational direction, making your people feel valued and useful.

How do you manage performance?

The core of our approach toperformance management cycle performance management lies with behaviour.  The beliefs and excuses that create barriers to good performance management are common across sectors.

Performance Management Cycle

At the heart of good performance management is the performance management cycle:

Defining Performance Start with the end in mind.  Define the outcomes you are looking for, or what ‘good’ looks like. Performance definition, on its own, is not always enough, however.  It does not clarify the expected observable behaviours.
Set up for Success Define what ‘good’ looks like in terms of observable behaviours e.g. a professional working within a fixed fee arrangement.  If performance is merely defined as ‘work within a fixed fee arrangement’ expectations around behaviour are not set.

Describing the behaviour in positive terms sets expectation:

  •  manage client expectations
  •  ensure the client understands the business relationship, and
  •  keep the client informed at all times

It is clear how to achieve the performance required. If the competencies are met, the client is likely to be happy and the impact on the organisation is positive.

Track & Review performance To improve performance monitor performance and provide clear, structured feedback that enables the other person to stop, start or continue the behaviours or activities observed. If the behaviours expected have been clearly defined, it is much easier to give meaningful feedback at review stage.  The individual can then take responsibility for their actions and adapt their behaviour.
Respond to performance Engendering sustainable change by identifying what needs to stop, start or continue in terms of desired activities or behaviours

Click here for a light-hearted case study on applying this model in a slightly less professional situation.