Performance Management Process

Performance Management is a process that every member of your team must master. It requires consistent focus along with the fundamental management skills to ensure the process is efficient and effective. Every manager will be inclined to think ‘I could do it faster’, ‘I can do it better’, ‘I might as well just do it myself’, etc. but the company will never achieve its full potential unless every manager down to the supervisory level learns, rather than to DO things, to GET THINGS DONE through other people. In fact, the inability to effectively delegate is the number one factors holding managers back from progressing in their careers.

What is a performance management process?

An effective performance management process will:

  • clarify and quantify goals and expectations
  • properly align the resources of the organization to achieve its goals
  • clarify a comprehensive strategy to achieving the goals
  • consistently monitor individual and overall performance
  • inspire the growth of employees in executing their responsibilities
  • allow for timely course correction

In THE PIP, we recommend that the owner of the company meet with the management team to create the overall performance management system. This includes the setting of goals as well as the development of the strategy to achieve those goals. Each manager, in turn, should meet with their team in the same fashion. This systematic approach ensures that everyone is on the same page and also has the potential to expand the vision for the company.

The steps for accomplishing this are detailed in THE PIP Checklist. Generally:

Goals. The primary goals for the company are its Mission (the promise to the customer that sets the company apart from its competition) and the Vision (what the company will achieve in delivering upon its promise to its customers).

Strategy. Not only what needs to happen in order for the company to achieve its goals but also consideration to what can go wrong. It requires an alignment of all available resources, including and especially time, and the integration of the activities of every member of the team.

Monitoring. There is a big difference between performance monitoring (historical observation of achievement – or lack thereof – relative to set objectives) and performance management (pro-active management to achieve objectives). Managers must not only monitor performance but create milestones and consistently monitor those milestones. Many micro-manage ‘after the fact’. The key to effective performance management is to establish specific milestones in advance, get agreement on the milestones and the specific dates for accomplishment, and then to consistently monitor performance so that appropriate action can be taken on a timely basis.

Appropriate Action. This could be an entire article on its own. The absolutely critical aspects of taking appropriate action, however, are 1) ensure it is done on a timely basis (in time to get back on track), 2) NEVER chastise an employee in front of anyone else and 3) the most-oft neglected aspect of taking appropriate action – find opportunities to praise excellent performance publicly.

Rewarding. And one last word related to appropriate action. ONLY reward a person if they exceed expectations. It is important to not reward a person, be it praise, a raise or otherwise, for doing the job that was expected of them. That is what their paycheck is for. If you have generally poor performance or morale, turn things around by setting easier goals that people can exceed but do not reward people for merely doing the job for which they are getting paid.

THE PIP is systematic process for creating a performance management system. To get started, download your FREE PIP Checklist here.

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