The business owner's performance management toolkit

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Are you responsible for supervising other’s work? Do you struggle to motivate your employees’? Would you like to improve performance and results in your organisation?

If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, you may want to consider using a performance management system.

Performance management is a term used to describe the holistic process of bringing together the elements that make up the successful practice of people management.

Based on the principles of measurement, appraisal, action and monitoring, performance management supports teamwork success: whether your goal is to develop a project team, your departmental team, or a sense of teamwork company-wide.

Here are some useful strategies for enhancing your employees’ performance.

Talk to your Staff

First and foremost, communicate often with your staff. By building good relationships, you will bring trust, honesty and information, giving you a head start in the performance management of your employees.

Know what you want

This may sound obvious, but too often than not, it is the biggest stumbling block to effective performance management. Be clear with your staff what is expected of them and clearly define reasonable and realistic tasks and objectives.

This clarity will enable you to see how staff are performing against expectations. Without these specific ‘measures’, performance management will be open to conflict and you’re more likely to hear ‘I didn’t know you wanted this by then’.

Approach the Process Collaboratively

Engage staff in the performance management process and seek out their ideas in order to develop outcomes and achieve organisational goals.

Diagnose Performance Problems

Until you have identified what is wrong with an employee’s functioning, you won’t be able to develop a performing, engaged employee.

Find out exactly why your employee is not meeting your expectations. Are they unclear about what you want them to do? Do they lack the time, tools, talent, training? By understanding these issues, you can help an employee to succeed.

Conduct Staff Appraisals

A good appraisal system will enable you to assess your staff against defined objectives and give you the chance to provide constructive feedback and praise your staff for good work. It also gives you the opportunity to address any problems, discuss weaknesses and find solutions.

Try and conduct appraisals at least once or twice a year and keep it simple – a performance system can only work if you plan and implement it properly.

Rate Performance

There are many different methods to rate performance and it is important that you choose the best one for your employees and your business.

For example, you could use the objectives you agreed with your employee and rate them on a scale of one to ten, with one being poor and ten being excellent. Alternatively, you could keep a record of good and bad performance throughout the year, and this could then form the basis of your appraisal.

Provide Rewards

Performance management is all about giving staff the required feedback that they need to improve, including giving praise where praise is due and rewarding as necessary.

You can demonstrate your appreciation of employee performance through many forms, such as promotion, bonuses or other financial incentives. When good things happen, it’s important to let people know and celebrate successes.

Being able to assess situations and adapt your management response is vital to managing people. If we manage people well, we manage performance well too. But remember, if you are not clear about what you want in the first place, how can you expect your staff to be?

If you’re looking for more information, download this ebook ‘What is Leadership?’ to find out how you can produce great results from being an effective team manager.

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