Performance management plays a crucial role in fostering a motivated, engaged and productive workforce. With nearly 61% of workers looking for another role, it’s vital that you get your performance management process right from the get-go.

What is performance management?

According to the CIPD, “‘Performance management’ describes the attempt to maximise the value that employees create. It aims to maintain and improve employees’ performance in line with an organisation’s objectives. It’s a not a single activity, but rather a group of practices that should be approached holistically.”

7 valuable tips for effective performance management

  1. Provide a clear job description

A thorough job description is crucial to set a clear expectation of the job purpose and main duties of the role. Whilst it may come as a surprise that a job description is not a statutory requirement, it’s a useful resource to refer to during performance reviews and when setting objectives.

  1. Set SMART objectives

Objective setting between a line manager and employee is a great way to create a transparent expectation of the employee. When it comes to setting objectives always refer to the main purpose and duties of the role detailed within the job description. By setting objectives that are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, Time-bound) you will be able to measure your team’s performance against your business goals. Be sure to clarify with the employee if they have any questions on how to best achieve each objective.

  1. Schedule regular 1-1’s

Regular performance management meetings provide the perfect opportunity to check in with your employees, provide valuable feedback and review their progress to date. The purpose of monthly 1-1’s is:

  • To review progress of the employee and the company towards agreed objectives and to set any new objectives.
  • To check in on progress towards development of the employee and the company.
  • To make sure everyone is happy in their work and delivering to the best of their ability.

1-1’s are not a one-way conversation and they are the perfect opportunity for employees to explore their performance and any other matters that they wish to discuss. This is especially important for remote workers who may not have day-to-day interactions with their line managers. From a line managers perspective praise positive behaviours and provide constructive feedback where required. Be sure to keep a record of the 1-1 meeting notes on your HR system for your employee to refer back to.

  1. Open communication

When it comes to effective performance management, open and clear communication is key. Whether that is scheduling in the meetings, the instructions of how employees should complete the relevant forms or during the review meeting. Tailor your communication methods to each individual in your team. Remove the barrier and create a workplace culture where open communication is encouraged. By establishing a strong working relationship with employees, this allows them to feel comfortable voicing their opinions or questions during the 1-1 meetings and reviews. Be open to hearing about any feedback and/or suggestions from your employees on your current processes.

  1. Address any performance issues

Do not wait until the monthly 1-1’s or performance review meetings to address concerns about quality of work or other related issues. It’s important that if an employee is underperforming that this is addressed as soon as possible. By actioning the appropriate steps and following formal procedures, this will support your business down the line in the event of a disciplinary or misconduct hearing.

  1. Opportunities for Training and Development

According to data by Docebo, 83% of employees saw learning and development as a vital factor behind their choice of employer. Offering professional development and training opportunities is an excellent way to invest in your team’s growth and progression with your company. Through training and development with an upskilled or reskilled team, you will be supporting your team to feel well equipped to fulfil their job duties and beyond.

If you don’t have a clear training and development path for your employees, you could ask your employee for suggestions on training courses they feel would be appropriate to support their role.

  1. Lead by Example

If you are looking to create a workplace culture which encourages employees and puts a positive emphasis on their progression and development, it’s key to lead by example. No matter the size of your business, the behaviours of business owners and line managers play an essential part in whether your employees remain at your company or look for alternative employment. By keeping an eye out for your team and recognising when a 1-1 is needed or an informal conversation, it’ll go a long way from your employee’s perspective.

And there you have our 7 tips for effective performance management. We hope that these tips support you in working towards a high-performing, motivated and productive workforce.

If you are looking to implement an effective performance management process or have a performance issue concern within your team, please get in touch to explore how our HR services can support your business.