Who manages their own finances on an annual basis, looks at their bank accounts once a year, checks their RRSP and other investments and then leaves them for 12 months, hoping that everything remains okay?
The answer, hopefully, is not many people. Yet, this is how most of us have become accustomed to managing performance at work. We set goals at the beginning of the year and then we check in again at the end of year to apply a rating to our colleagues. Meanwhile the business that we operate is rapidly changing and the employees adapt with it.
We have seen a number of companies become frustrated with the performance management cycle and in some cases abolish the process altogether. Others have adapted their current process to make it more real time and valid for their employees. Still more companies continue to wrestle with the dilemma of how to effectively manage their employees’ performance.
As we continue in a cycle of relative full employment, companies of all sizes are working harder to “activate their talent,” rather than simply ‘’manage their talent’’ in a traditional manner.
Companies are endeavoring to engender a culture of engagement in which all their employees can do their best work. They recognize that people often work best in teams and excel when they clearly understand what is expected of them and have a chance to use their strengths every day at work.
3 steps to success:
1. Know your people.
While an incredibly simple concept, this is all too often missed by organizations and their leaders today. The first and most basic step in an effective performance management program is to get to know your people. This doesn’t mean you need to know their dog’s name or what their partner majored in (although those are nice to know). However, you should quickly come to understand what their professional goals are, where their strengths lie, which parts of their job function they love to do and which they are great at. The flip side of that is understanding which parts of their job they struggle with, take longer to complete or generally do not enjoy.
2. Focus your people.
By becoming aware of and acknowledging the strengths that exist within your team, you can begin to focus your employees. Of course, some weak areas will require coaching if they are a necessary part of their role, but by allowing your team members to play to their strengths during their work day, they will find their work more rewarding and fulfilling, and will in turn unlock their individual potential to accelerate their own performance. If the work feels enjoyable, people are likely to work more efficiently, which will instill new beliefs and habits throughout each team that can initiate ripples which will bring about real organizational change.
3. Engage your people.
Let your people take an active role in growing and developing the team. Empower team leaders to measure and improve engagement in real time and involve them in the process of identifying and isolating the factors that make your team successful. Invest in real time employee sensing tools that take the pulse of your employees on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis.
The Marcus Buckingham Company, an ADP Company, commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) study and examine the potential return on investment enterprises may realize by deploying the ADP PM solution, StandOut. Among the key findings were that:
- Participating organizations saw number of “fully engaged” employees increase by 65%
- StandOut helped new employees become engaged and productive faster
- Higher employee satisfaction and improved management reduced turnover
- Organizations using StandOut saved $81,000 over three years in hiring costs from improved retention alone
The workforce and the workplace are rapidly changing. This requires leaders to be innovative and strategic when it comes to motivating and engaging their teams, to keep the organization moving forward. Strategic performance management can transform your company and your business.