Three Essentials of Performance Management
This white paper explains the three essentials of performance management, and discusses:
- HOW to communicate expectations to employees at every level.
- WHEN to praise employee successes.
- WHICH TOOL makes creating year-end reviews simple and quick.
- FIVE things that must be included in every performance evaluation.
Traditional performance management strategies were born in the post-war 1950s, when employees were “lifers” and companies could sell a product for decades without changes. In today’s always-connected world, those talent-tracking models no longer work. Many managers are unhappy with common performance management tools—and they’re looking for a solution that brings real value by solving the following problems (and more):
- How do we realistically progress from goal-setting to seeing employees achieve those goals?
- How do we systematize employee performance reviews to get timely, meaningful feedback from each manager?
- How can we remember specifics about employees’ performance when it’s time for annual reviews?
- How do we protect the company from frivolous lawsuits raised by disgruntled former employees?
The answer: a simple three-step process called Perfecting Employee Performance (PEP).
PEP = Communicate + Coach + Recognize
- Communicate expectations to employees. Each employee should have an absolutely clear understanding of their manager’s expectations, both in job goals (what you expect them to do) and job performance (how you expect them to work with others).
- Coach for success to make sure goals and benchmarks are actually achieved. Managers typically have just one performance-review conversation a year with their subordinates—and that employee is often wary because they know their manager could penalize them if they admit to areas that need growth. True coaching requires frequent positive moments of feedback about opportunities for the employee to build skills. Most traditional performance management systems are ZERO help with creating an effective coaching system.
- Recognize results to keep employees achieving and growing. Traditional performance reviews focus mostly on the negative—or are so vague that employees may wonder if anyone notices all their hard work. Managers who take time to appreciate effort create a culture that empowers innovation and achievement.
Streamlining performance management into three simple steps makes it achievable for even the most overworked manager.
Systematizing Performance Management
The ideal employee performance management tool not only supports managers in perfecting employee performance, it must also systematize performance management so that it’s easier to do than to leave undone. The cloud-based PEP software, a Human Resources Management System, does just that—in an elegantly simple way.
Keep reading to learn more about how PEP software:
- Facilitates communicating clear expectations to employees at every level.
- Gives managers the tools to coach effectively (and reach goals).
- Creates documentation throughout the year (using a function named PEPtalk) that managers can use to evaluate employees fairly and appropriately.
PEP Step One: Communicate Expectations
Most managers train their employees on the tasks of the job (goals), but few managers give employees a clear idea of how they want them to function (performance metrics). Employees need to know management’s expectations for teamwork, communication, attitude, and much more.
When setting job goals, make sure that the goals are appropriate and reasonable—and then give your managers a process to establish, oversee, and reward employees’ work toward those goals.
Make it easier on yourself—and on employees—by setting the same performance metrics for all employees in the same job. You can even standardize performance metrics across many job types, such as exempt, non-exempt, production, people management, executive management, sales, and other jobs.
Your performance metrics can be customized to your priorities, such as:
- Quality of Work
- Problem Solving
- Job Knowledge
- Customer Service
PEP Step Two: Coach for Success
Coaching makes the difference between good managers and great managers. Managers should observe how the employee handles various tasks, and then provide appropriate praise for tasks that the employee has done well. The best time to offer appreciation is immediately after the event.
Be sure to give constructive and instructive criticism when an employee could have performed tasks better. This feedback should also come soon after the performance, or it loses its relevance.
Document both good and bad performance—at year-end, it’s nearly impossible to recall specifics of employee performance. The PEPtalk feature offers an easy way to create detailed documentation, which allows for completion of performance appraisals in minimal time. Using PEPtalk makes creating year-end reviews simple and quick!
PEP Step Three: Recognize Results
Your employees need useful feedback from their managers in order to increase their value to the company. We’ve broken that feedback down into five sections that must be in performance evaluations for every employee. Make sure your evaluations answer these questions:
- Goals: Did the employee achieve the goals set for them, exceed those goals, or not achieve those goals?
- Performance metrics: Did the employee meet your expectations on how they should perform (as set by the metrics), exceed those expectations, or not meet those expectations?
- Strengths: What are the employee’s top areas of performance?
- Opportunities: Where should the employee focus on improving?
- Documentation: What documentation have we gathered to ensure we have specifics about each of these topics?
Managers are frequently frustrated that, at the end of the year, they have forgotten many things that should be included in their employees’ reviews. By documenting each coaching moment in PEPtalk when it occurs, managers have all the information they need for performance reviews.
How Using PEP Software Brings Real Value
Whether your managers and HR personnel have decades of experience or are new in their positions, the PEP software makes their jobs easier. The user interface was designed to streamline processes so that it feels intuitive to use. The PEP system guides users in ensuring communication is productive, successfully coaching employees, documenting employees’ progress, and completing accurate and detailed performance evaluations.
- Web-based access for anywhere/anytime updating
- Encryption of sensitive data for security
- Role-based access to allow several tiers of user types
- Easy duplication of repetitive information
The PEP Philosophy
When you build HR processes designed for successful communication, coaching, and recognition, your employees are far more likely to be successful contributors to your company’s vision and goals.
The PEP team brings you proven tools for successful performance management that managers and HR staff can quickly implement.
Contact us today to learn more about using the PEP tools to improve your HR processes.