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Performance Management as a Process: A Guide for Leaders

Performance management processes help businesses thrive in an environment of competition. By managing performance in a regimented way, companies can set key performance indicators (KPIs) and measure performance, ensuring greater performance effectiveness across the organization. That’s why it’s important to look holistically at performance management as a process.

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Creating performance management as a process

Creating a performance management process helps companies ensure that they track performance goals and understand the impact of employee work on their overall success. One important facet of performance management as a process is goal-setting. By setting and completing goals, then working toward new ones, employees help companies become more agile, innovative and effective at servicing customer needs in a competitive business environment.

For this reason, performance management as a process should be continuous and ongoing, as opposed to something that happens annually or at the allowance of other priorities. In order to grow, employees need proactive managers that implement practices like feedback and training to facilitate forward momentum. A cornerstone of performance management processes is providing opportunities for learning and development and measuring outcomes.

At the core of performance management is an appraisal process where employees can receive feedback on how they’ve performed against measurable goals in key areas. In this way, the performance management process includes sub-processes that must be defined like how appraisals occur, how managers deliver feedback, keep records, set goals and more. All of this can be aided by human resources platform technology that helps managers complete performance reviews, offer feedback and centralize employee access to training.

A company that successfully implements performance management processes should expect to see a positive cultural shift as agility and output increase and employees take on the company mission to meet or exceed their goals.

Related: 10 Steps to Starting a Business

Three things to try

There are a number of ways that human resource professionals and people in key leadership positions can shift their focus to performance management. However, the process should start with research, pre-planning and preparing for a shift in company culture. Try these three things that help managers solidify performance management as a process:

1. Increase performance management knowledge and set goals

To get started creating a performance management process, you need to dedicate time to increase your knowledge of practices and resources available to companies that focus on performance management. To do this, managers should learn effective scheduling practices like time blocking and organizational approaches like brainstorming and note-taking.

When collecting information about performance management, think about what things will help you set goals for your employees. Some helpful resources might include looking at any competitor information available or reading case studies that can help you understand how employees at companies like yours usually perform. This, along with a thorough review of company goals over the next several years, can help managers determine what goals they should realistically set for their employees.

After organizing your time, collecting information and brainstorming performance management ideas, it’s time to move on to the act of creating performance management processes, which includes scheduling appraisal meetings with employees and setting up individual plans and goals.

2. Create a checklist

Performance management occurs in several steps. Each one of these steps has certain checklist items that can be completed to ensure performance management processes are taking place. Creating a checklist is as simple as using basic spreadsheet software to create a list.

Some sections to include are:

  • Performance management planning activities: This includes things like defining metrics and KPIs that make sense for your industry.
  • Activities for developing employees:Tasks that fall under developing employees should include development resources, education, processes for providing routine feedback and other activities that help employees grow.
  • Preparation for one-on-one employee appraisal meetings:Schedule the appraisal meeting and ensure the employee being appraised has the resources to be prepared for the meeting. You can use this meeting to talk about the employee’s progress so far and gain insight on things they would like to improve.
  • Steps for conducting the meeting effectively:This includes goal-setting for each employee, creating a performance plan and assessing feedback.
  • Performance plan follow-up and post-meeting steps:After the meeting, managers can conduct activities like following up on performance plans and forwarding any necessary documents to human resources.

3. Build a culture of performance

To build any company culture, you must first define your core values. To create a culture of performance, one of those values should be individual employee outputs and quality of work. Other things to consider when building your company’s culture are questions like what it is your company does and where you expect it to go.

You should also consider what your company culture is like now and in what ways you can make small but meaningful changes to create the culture you want. For example, a shift to a culture of performance management might require department-by-department individual employee meetings with managers for goal setting.

Additional steps to creating a culture of performance include making sure that there is a brand representative who can effectively speak to company culture with employees, viewing your company with the perspective of creating a brand that attracts talent and finding ways to continuously reinforce performance as a core value.

Related: 5 Business Development Manager Interview Questions and Answers

FAQs: Performance management as a process

Here are some frequently asked questions about performance management as a process:

What is performance management?

Performance management is the philosophy that combines individual employee performance with company goals and vision. Companies use performance management to improve overall efficiency, agility, effectiveness and customer service, among other things.

What systems exist to enhance performance management?

Many digital service providers offer performance management solutions that do everything from helping you remember to schedule appraisal meetings to reporting on goals. Investing in technology is important to digital enterprises and has a number of benefits that support the goals of performance management by making companies more flexible and organized.

Companies should make performance management a company-wide endeavor that includes input from chief executives, like a CIO, CTO or CFO, who can make decisions about technology purchases that will help create a performance-based culture.

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