At intelliHR, you could say we’re a little passionate about performance. Okay, we’re very passionate – and we talk about it here on the blog a lot.
But the thing is, we know a lot of businesses are starting from ground zero with their performance strategy. Chances are, you know where you want to be, but you’re just not sure how best to support your team to get there, and you may be wondering where on Earth to even start.
So, we’ve put together a four part series to take you from zero to hero with your performance – and this series is not just about taking away admin and having nice processes (although we’ll tell you how to do that too). It’s ultimately going to help you not only manage performance better, but actively support performance improvement it – and then take it to the next level!
In Part 1, we’re starting from the very beginning; how to audit your performance processes. No matter where your people performance strategy is at, you’ll be able to follow along with today’s blog, and when you’re done, you’ll know exactly where there’s room for improvement (and what you’re already doing well.)
Ready to see how your performance is performing? Read on and rank your organisation on the following key areas.
Your team members performance shouldn’t be defined by one meeting each year. Performance is made up of moments that happen every day. So why do most performance reviews so often have an annual focus and comprise of information that a manager has tried to remember over the last 12 months? This approach undermines the success of the whole performance process. If there is a problem or a roadblock, talking about it nine months later won’t help. Performance is an ongoing and fluid process and at intelliHR we believe your supporting framework should be as well. We strongly recommend a continuous feedback model that captures performance moments in real-time, allowing you to support and celebrate as required.
Having 360 feedback (from an employee themselves, their manager and their peers) also adds to the accuracy of performance reporting as opposed to relying on one-sided accounts. Your whole team benefits from the collaborated and valuable insights which are easily captured from their peers. Leaders can take action on the aggregated insights from the broader team-wide understanding. Managers can use 360 feedback to incorporate this feedback into a team member’s personal development.
Ideally, this should all be recorded in one central and secure online location, creating a single point of truth for all your HR records, while keeping them accessible and safe. Paper records and notebooks can quickly become a nightmare when it comes time to pull all of this information together for a performance review. In fact imagine how useful it would be to instantly produce a current performance report so that any catch up could be informed with up to date insights.
Automating things like continuous feedback processes and collation of performance summaries not only saves a huge amount of time and resources, but also provides a more consistent experience for all staff. So as you perfect your processes, you can ensure they’re made available equally for everyone.
As we mentioned earlier, continuous feedback is key to an effective performance process. If you are engaging in continuous feedback, how often is it? We recommend monthly, however, fortnightly feedback may also work if your workplace is particularly fast-paced. Feedback allows you to jump on opportunities or remove roadblocks for your team, building transparency and trust.
This feedback, along with any other measures of performance, should ideally be measured and recorded automatically so everyone in the business has a consistent, up-to-date view of performance, and a performance summary can be extracted at any time for any period to check in on how someone is going.
If an employee is struggling, they may feel apprehensive to hit a “below expectations” button, but “needs help” is much more welcoming and shows that the result of their selection is more likely to lead to improvement, rather than result in a warning letter!
When an employee is under-performing, the first port of call should be to look at why. Many times you may find there is just some small change needed that could help them do better. It could be training to close a skills gap, additional resources or even solving a problem they were facing at work. Rather than focusing on reprimanding low performance, we encourage a focus on investigating the reasons behind it and offering help and support, along with facilitating a process which allows your team member to own their improvement.
It’s difficult for staff to constantly improve the way they work if they’re unable to get a view of their own performance at any point. If employees can see how they are tracking at any time, this is much more productive in helping them to improve as opposed to only receiving feedback in an annual review.
While there may be need for some variation between teams or locations, these processes (once perfected) should be implemented as consistently as possible across the organisation, to ensure everyone can have the same great experience. This consistency is best approached through configurable HR automation.
To get the most out of your performance processes, they should aim to reduce manager burden. This comes down to using things like automation tools, or getting employees to self-report on some aspects of performance, so managers can spend less time collating information, and more time coaching their team members to improve.
We know traditional annual review systems can cause a lot of undue stress on staff too and sometimes lead to conversations that aren’t accurate or productive. Have you thought about how this can be limited in your performance process?
If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these – you’re off to a great start already. If there were any areas where you said ‘no’ or ‘ yes, but I could be doing it better’ – Part 2 is for you. Next week we will look at taking those areas with room for improvement and start to work on them.
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