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Common Mistakes in Performance Management

Posted on January 6, 2017 in People Development

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Leading a team is quite a rewarding experience.

Managers get to be the ones who introduce the culture and values of the company into the workforce and watch a person’s career unfold in front of them. They get to be a part of that, maybe even the reason for it.

With the right performance management process, employees should feel fulfilled because they’ve been enlightened to their strengths, are now aware of their weaknesses and have goals to work towards to improve their own performance. They should leave review meetings with a new sense of purpose and an idea of how their hard work is going to help the company.

But, there are parts of managing that might not be so pleasant — like performance management. Many managers are not well trained in handling a wide range of emotions when the performance appraisal goes wrong. It will only further create a negative relationship between the managers and employees. Managers and employees alike can get anxious and very tensed during the process. Employees take performance appraisals as a form of punishment.

Many managers or HR practitioners fail to understand that performance goals of each employee should be aligned to at least towards the departmental objectives, hence contributing to the company success. Organisations always create performance management with the approach of one size fits all, which is the main reason for annual appraisal to be ineffective. Different interpretations of the rating scale and an employee’s level of performance make the process subjective. Using a rating system creates an illusion of objectivity and employee motivation decreases when their contributions become quantified.

The following are the common mistakes in performance management.

Mistake #1: Your Performance Management process is not focussing on employee development

The biggest problem with performance appraisals is that a session can turn personal very fast. They start to evaluate the employees’ characteristics and behaviours, instead of area which they can be improving on. Performance Management should give employees developmental tools that help them grow and advance their careers, even if that doesn’t necessarily mean a promotion or enlargement of job role.

Developmental tools can be technical or non-technical training, on-job-training, cross-exposure with other departments, secondment of job roles and so on.

Mistake #2: Not having Performance Reviews with employees frequently

Regular communication is positively tied into employee engagement. In fact, employees whose managers regularly performing reviews with them are far more effective compared to those with managers who don’t. There is a survey done by Jeff Fermin, founder of officevibe, showed that a total of 15% lower turnover rate for companies which implement regular feedback.          
How can this be done? Managers can keep themselves reminded for checking in with employees by setting reminders on their phone, emails or even their HR Management System. One-on-one interactions with employees will pack a solid punch for engagement.

Reaping your employees’ engagement levels can be as easy as approaching them as frequent as possible to shoot the breeze. It can be done between intervals of every two months, three months or even bi-yearly.

Mistake #3: Fail to follow through

A perfect appraisal method and a clear list of goals won’t mean a thing if you don’t follow through. Check in with employees throughout the year to make sure milestones are being met. If development plans are put into place during the appraisal, ensure there are measurable ways for both managers and employees to track process and status throughout the year. If rewards were promised during the review, ensure it is delivered in a timely manner.

Remember, Performance Appraisal is an overview of past performance and a great chance to lay down the tracks for increased performance and employee satisfaction. Without a plan and efficient follow-through of those plans, all is lost and you will have wasted time.

Besides that, it offers a valuable opportunity to focus on work activities and goals, to identify and correct existing problems, and to encourage better future performance. Then by multiples of individual impact, the performance of the whole is enhanced.

Performance Management reflects the continuous nature of performance improvement and employee development, recognizing the importance of effective management, work system and team contributions. If Performance Management is implemented correctly with specific objectives tied to the strategic and operational plan, organisational performance outcomes will likely increase quickly!

“Research indicates that workers have three prime needs: Interesting work, recognition for doing a good job, and being let in on things that are going on in the company.” – Zig Ziglar

iv.    Chris Arringdale;; TLNT Talent Management & HR

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