Managing Employee Performance
Are Your Employees Reaching Their Full Potential?
When you are Managing Employee Performance effectively you will have a happy and productive workforce that are fully engaged with your vision for the business and will create satisfied customers and increased profits that will help you to outperform your competitors.
Initially you need to ensure that each employee is clear about what you require them to do and the minimum standards you require them to achieve.
The key documents you will need to have in place are:
- Job Descriptions for every role in your business
- Offer Letter for every employee
- Statement of Main Terms and Conditions of Employment for every employee
- Employee Handbook outlining your main policies and procedures and describing the minimum standards you expect from your employees
Once you have the basics in place you can start to review how each employee is performing.
What is Good Performance?
When I talk to clients about measuring how employees are performing, they almost always start talking about what the employee is delivering i.e. their outputs. Whilst this is important concentrating solely on outputs can lead to rewarding dysfunctional behaviour. We’ve all seen at some time the employee who achieves all their targets and objectives but not in the way that is acceptable to you or your business. Measuring good performance should therefore be a balance between what the employee achieves and how they achieve it.
Measuring Outputs and Inputs
This is WHAT the employee delivers or achieves. Are they meeting their objectives, have they delivered on time, have they done what’s expected of them in terms of their level, experience and knowledge?
Having the right people, doing the right jobs and working effectively and efficiently
This is HOW the employee delivers or achieves their outputs. It is about the impact they have on the people around them. Do they understand the ‘why’ to what they are doing and have a sense of purpose. Do they role model appropriate behaviours, have they been supportive to others in the team and are they focused on continuous improvement? In many ways it is the behaviours, style and skills by which someone does their job.
Having a strong emotional and energy commitment to your business and its goals.
An employee who has previously been highly engaged can quickly become disengaged if they are not being or feeling productive. Similarly, a productive employee will become unproductive if they do not feel engaged.
The performance framework is a simple tool to show visually the difference between an employee’s outputs and inputs. By taking an overall performance picture of what the employee does, and how they do it, you can see where their strengths lie and what areas need to be developed.
Where your employees sit on the framework determines the priority of the actions you need to take in your business.
Where an employee’s output is lower than you expect then you will need to give some consideration to the following indicators:
- Structure: are there clear lines of reporting and communication?
- Processes: strong processes provide a clear guide for ‘how we do things’ in an effective and repeatable way
- Technology: a major enabler for efficiency gains and cost savings
- Training: people need the right tools and knowledge to perform effectively
- Remuneration: people need to be paid appropriately for performing their job
- Recruitment: plays a major role in getting the right people into the right jobs
Where an employee’s input is poor then you will need to give some consideration to the following indicators:
- Vision: people want to understand the ‘why’ to what they are doing and have a sense of purpose
- Values: well defined and agreed values have a strong impact on behaviour and culture
- Leadership: great organisations create a culture of leadership at all levels and leading by example
- Communication: regular, clear communication is the glue that builds relationships and brings people together.
- Recognition: employees like to be recognised for their contributions and expertise
- Succession: people want to understand their career pathway and opportunities (where they can go and how they can there)
Ultimately you want to move all employees to the top right hand (high performance) corner of the framework, but it won’t happen overnight.