Performance Management

What is Performance Management?

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

By setting clear expectations around god performance management, each person in your organisations will 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
  • Howe they can develop their performance and contribute to the development of the organisation
  • How they are doing against their objectives
  • When, and if, there are performance problems and what to do about them

Very often the mere words, performance management, instil 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, encouraging desired behaviours to be replicated by others.

“Thank you” for a job well done is welcome, but doesn’t help the person understand specifically what it was that they did which was particularly helpful, or made a difference.  “Thank you” on its own is pixie dust. It has an immediate feel good factor, but does not always translate into continuing performance.

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, professional organisations are no different.  By changing attitudes towards performance management you can fundamentally change how performance management is approached and thereby improve the outcomes your people achieve.

Performance Management Cycle

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

Defining Performance Starting with the end in mind.  Defining 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  Further defining what ‘good’ looks like in terms of observable behaviours.E.g. A professional working within a fixed fee arrangement who continually over-delivers, agreeing to extra work which can’t be billed.  The client might be pleased, but the impact on the organisation is not so positive.

If performance is defined as ‘work within a fixed fee arrangement’, this could lead to a very unhappy client.

However, if it is further explained by….

  •  managing client expectations
  •  ensuring that the client understands the business relationship, and
  •  keeping the client informed at all times

It can then be understood how to achieve the performance required.

Track & Review performance  For improved performance you need to 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 the over-deliverer stopping, starting or continuing the desired activities or behaviours

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