May 27, 2019

Performance management: when do you need it?

Performance management is one part of HR that’s not always well understood but at the same time, it’s fundamental to your HR practices and ultimately your business outcomes. In this article, we look at exactly what it is and when and how to use it in your workplace.

What is performance management?

Performance management is a process that involves a manager working with an employee, making sure their output supports the strategic objectives of the organisation.

In this sense, it is the practical application of the company’s overall business strategy between management and individual staff members.

Because each workplace is different and each leadership team has different ideas of what works best for their business, managing performance can include reviews, regular one-on-one check-ins, team meetings, discussions about performance improvement and behaviour management.

It can also include many policies and ideas, such as remuneration and incentivisation and workplace monitoring.

What performance management isn’t

To really get an understanding of performance management, it’s probably worth considering what it isn’t. You’ve probably heard the misguided term to ‘performance manage’ someone out of an organisation, or in other words, moving an employee on. What is important to note, is that it should not be used for dismissing employees. That said, dealing with underperformance is one small part of managing performance.

How to get your performance management right

For any organisation, getting performance management right means treating it as a comprehensive and well-planned system. In other words, don’t start and end with a once a year performance review. Instead, build it into everything you do and this involves three key things:

  • Written policies. You should always have written policies and procedures. These should define exactly how your business operates, what your business wants to achieve as well as employee expectations.
  • Communication. Make sure you regularly communicate these policies to your organisation, so they’re gently reminded of what’s expected of them and what role they play in the day-to-day running of your business.
  • Regularity. You should routinely and regularly meet with staff to provide feedback. It’s here you can let me know how they’re tracking personally and what they can be doing to improve their performance. This should be done both informally and formally, through scheduled meetings. Always keep performance-related surprises to a minimum.

When should you implement a system to manage performance?

As soon as possible. Nothing will guarantee the success of your business more than high performing staff. So much so, some visionary startups are now building up their HR policies and performance management systems even before they’ve hired a single employee. Still, if you haven’t yet built your own, it’s not too late.

Talk to Catalina Consultants – we’re the experts

If you’d like to discuss how we can help you achieve your business goals by setting up a robust and powerful performance management system in your organisation, get in touch with the Catalina Consultant team today.

say hi to our author

Merilyn founded Catalina Consultants in 2012 on the belief that all organisations, regardless of size, should have access to top quality bespoke HR services. She enjoys working closely with her clients and believes that the best results are built on relationships of rapport, trust and authenticity. Growing up, Merilyn had her sight set on stardom and dreamed of becoming an actor. She also sang and played the piano, but ended up studying accounting and HR. Whilst she hasn’t won her Grammy just yet, she still loves a good karaoke night. Merilyn loves to travel with her family, with South Africa being one of her most memorable destinations.

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