Relevance of Performance Management

11th April 2016

We’??ve read a lot of articles about performance management being dead in 2016. But we were confused as to why, after 12 years of providing e-learning, we were suddenly being regularly commissioned to design online performance management training.

Performance management is the idea of exploring the best ways to optimise your employees’?abilities, and encouraging them to develop new skills.

Promoting staff and organisational growth and development remain key to the success of businesses and organisations worldwide.

But is??Performance Management’?still seen as relevant focus for HR managers in these challenging economic times?

We asked two of our favourite consultancies we use for classroom training and writing on their opinions on the subjects.

How does Performance Management improve employees work?

Performance management is still an important area to provide clarity about what is expected from an employee. Clarity and defined standards of work will help to give focus and direction, as well as identify the development needs of an individual.

Shirine Vincent of Bitesize Learning, a UK-based training consultancy, noted that:

“A more formal, bespoke performance management process can help to provide a forum for candid dialogue about current performance future career aspirations.’?By nurturing the talent in your organisation, you’??re giving people their best opportunity to succeed.’??

Rebecca Longman from Red Ponder, a US-based HR consultancy, agrees and adds:

‘??If people don’t feel valued and recognised or don’t understand why they need to do what they’ve been asked to do they will still work (they’re getting paid after all) but they won’t give you their best. Hence the low levels of engaged people in the workplace’??.

Clearly, the key to unlocking employee productivity and enhancing performance is what every modern, forward-thinking employer is looking for.

What have been some recent trends in Performance Management?

When?it comes to Performance Management, things are changing. Millennials don’??t have the same patience for more traditional-style performance appraisals. According to Longman , the trend is moving towards giving??regular, bite sized feedback’??.

The younger generation of workers responds well to recognition and reward systems, so there’??s also a move towards these kinds of HR tools:

‘??The problem with these is that many people believe they will ‘fix’ performance and engagement problems; they won’t, they are just tools that can be used to help facilitate the performance management approach. Thinking about what makes your employees tick and designing a holistic approach to managing performance will get the best results.’??

360-degree thinking when it comes to Performance Management is key, as trendsetting organisations are thinking about their feedback approach in a way that is meaningful and sticks to their core value system.

Vincent says that younger workers specifically are demanding that the performance management process be??taken seriously’??. These workers reject hypotheticals, and react well to a clearer and more transparent link to a reward, including specific project promotion and financial compensation.

What advice would you give for organisations looking at starting a Performance Management programme?

When it comes to something as nuanced and emotional as Performance Management, Vincent advises organisations to??make it matter or do not do it at all’??. She notes that it’??s important to follow-through, talk candidly, and routinely talk about areas of improvement or success.

‘??Implementing a process that fully tackles the problem areas of performance management is important. Empower managers to have those??tricky’?conversations, and give them the skills to ask the right questions.’??

Longman agrees, arguing that??one size definitely does not fit all when it comes to performance management’??.

Overall, it is important for every organisation to think carefully about the needs of employees, and to work with experts to ensure that they are designing a performance feedback and recognition system that speaks to the individual’s goals and values to get the best results.

That is the core of training and development?- speaks to the individual’s goals and values to get the best results – so Performance Management looks like it will be a key part of business for a long time to come.

Following developing performance management e-learning for University of East Anglia, Cardiff Metropolitan University and La Trobe University (Australia) Marshalls have now been commissioned to develop a complete online performance management system for Royal Zoological Society Edinburgh. For a look at our work do get in touch.


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