Powerful Engaged Teams are crucial to Performance Management Systems

Performance Management System

If they plan the battle...they won't battle the plan!

We want to improve employee performance, but how? We know that we could be doing a better job…we think. Perhaps it’s time to consider  implementing a performance management system.

Success through Performance Management

One of the challenges that organizations are faced with today is implementing a Performance Management System. This is simply standardizing the best practices, ensuring that team members follow through and are supported where needed. The goal is to set the team up for success.

The problem that most teams face to achieve a performance management process is that often team leaders lack the tools to set standards and measures for the work that needs to be done, and for performance management – there is an easy outline to follow:

  • Get the team involved.
  • Set standards.
  • Measure the actual vs. the ideal.
  • Develop a supporting plan to fill the in the gaps.

In many organizations there is confusion about processes and procedures. While some supervisors approach situations one way, others may use an entirely different approach. And no one knows that this is the case! These situations lead to a lack of clarity and accountability within the team. In some cases, managers feel they need to ‘take-charge’ so that work is done. While there is no problem with the idea of getting the job done, a ‘top-down’ approach often leads to micro-managing and a culture of workers who at best are reactive rather than proactive, and at worst are fearful and disengaged.

Why use a performance management  system if things are running smoothly?

Even if you are generally satisfied with your team, outcomes can usually improve when tasks are measured; however, this can be disastrous if introduced incorrectly. New ideas are challenging enough without being resisted.  When employees lack honesty, trust and mutual respect for management and for each other, suspicion and fear arises. New ideas will fail regardless of how great they are. ‘Buy-In’ is more than popular management terminology. It is a crucial component to performance improvement. The best way to ensure buy in is to include everyone in the process.

If they help plan the battle, they won’t battle the plan!

Teamwork and a culture of honesty, trust and mutual respect is essential. The first step toward performance improvement is an overview with team members of how effective communication helps to maximize profit. This ensures ‘buy in’ from team members. This part of the process is essential – skipping past it will greatly diminish the probability of having a successful project.

Next, workers are interviewed so that they can explain their key responsibilities, the skills and knowledge required. Measures and resources are also considered. This process quickly identifies the gaps that exist between management and staff. Management then consults and provides feedback. Opportunities and challenges are dealt with. The process is a collaborative one and is not complete until management is satisfied with the final documentation.

When the team is engaged in the process of establishing best practices, not only will they support the mandates but they will also provide greater insights and greater ideas than management alone ever could. Management benefits by accessing the best ideas available as well as achieving ‘buy in’ from workers of both established and new initiatives. The Key Responsibilities can be updated and consulted regularly as required.

At the end of the process, the team has an extremely clear understanding of what is expected and how to perform their jobs to the optimum standards. This process will help to increase the proficiency of the newer employees as well as reinvigorate the motivation of the veterans. A synergy of teamwork will result.

Using a team effort to develop a Performance Management System is more than a ‘nice concept’. It will positively affect results immediately. When inter-departmental agendas are clearly understood, workers are more motivated to contribute. The phrase ‘not my job’ is all but eliminated. When everyone feels that they are good at their job, no one will allow a team member to under-perform and get away with it. With an effective performance management system, 90% of problems are resolved at a peer to peer level, freeing up management for coaching for success rather than policing for failure.

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