Managing People – Is Your Performance Review Really Necessary?

Is Your Performance Review Really Necessary?

Advice from Wendy Smith.  Wendy is a  Career and Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life particularly your career.  You can book a FREE coaching session or find out more at this link

Performance review – lots of organizations carry out “performance appraisals.” Most people consider them a “good thing!” And there is lots of information around to help you do them well.

But there is more to encouraging and managing good performance than carrying out the annual performance review. Some people even question whether carrying out annual performance reviews does actually impact on the quality of performance.

Performance review – what the person being assessed usually thinks about

Let us think a little about what the person being assessed usually thinks about when a review is due.  Here’s what it likely to be

  • How is this review going to affect my bonus/performance related pay?
  • How am I being assessed and is it fair?
  • Is my contribution really going to be recognised and acknowledged?
  • How does this review affect my chance of promotion?
  • How well am I doing compared to my peers?

Performance review – what the manager thinks about

A manager thinks about the performance review in a different way;

  • How will you help the person understand what you think of their performance?
  • What evidence is needed to support your view?
  • If they are not meeting the standard, what advice should you give?
  • What action should follow on from the review?

If you are the manager, you are looking to do an assessment that helps your member of staff become more committed to your objectives. You hope they will feel more motivated, accountable, reliable, creative, dedicated, and, yes, happier in the job!

On-going and constructive review

Given the difference in perspectives, holding just one annual performance review doesn’t really seem to meet either sides expectations, does it? Surely what you need instead is a relationship that includes on-going and constructive review?

No, you don’t want spend every day discussing performance. Although there is much to be said about commenting very quickly on exceptions in performance – be they good or bad. Giving praise is as important as giving criticism.

Having a performance stock take once a month works for many! Certainly, having a more formal review quarterly where the question of the bonus isn’t part of the mix has worked for me. And then, at the end of the year it is an agreed summary of those quarterly reviews that feeds into the financial reward system.

Developing an effective relationship and an open discussion about the quality of performance is much more likely to help you and your staff member achieve your goals, both corporate and personal.

Remember, performance management is the process of creating a work environment or setting in which people are enabled to perform to the best of their abilities. Performance management is a whole work system that begins when a job is defined as needed. It ends when an employee leaves your organization.

With a performance management system that works and a well developed relationship, it becomes much easier to discuss career development and the opportunities for progression.  And guess what, in this climate potential threats to good performance can be seen off before they become real issues and so everyone benefits.

Good luck with your performance review and get in touch with me if you would like more information about how to succeed at work and as a manager.

Wendy Smith is a  Life Coach helping you find fresh perspectives on your life including your career. She helps people lead happier lives and feel more fulfilled. Need help finding work, with problems at work, at home or with relationships? Book a FREE coaching session with Wendy or find out more at this link

High performance culture

High performance culture – how do you generate one?

High performance culture

Improving business performance

High performance culture – performance is key to your organisation’s survival.  You cannot afford to under perform.  But how do you generate a high performance culture? 

Here are some tips!

1. Show leadership from the top

Those at the top of the organisation must be committed to a high performance culture. If necessary, they must be prepared to change to ensure this. The performance management framework  must operate throughout the organization from top to bottom. Those at the top need to model the desired behaviour.

2. Develop business plans

Business planning should be positive. But it must also must be realistic if a high performance culture is going to exist . Be clear about what can be delivered with the resources available.  How will those available resources change over time?  Take into account the people management implications. If you invest in training, how will that effect your business plan? Once plans and priorities have been established, they need pervade the organisation. Your plans need to be translated into department, team and individual performance plans. These need to be throughout the organisation. Can you see the the organisation’s objectives reflected in the most junior employee’s performance plan?

3. Establish what good performance looks like and how it can be measured

All performance indicators and other criteria used to measure performance must be clearly communicated. This should be to all staff and contractors supporting the organisation. Think about what really matters. And focus on measuring the essentials. Keep the number of measures to a minimum.  Want to know more about performance measures? Follow this link

4. Monitor and evaluate

Systems need to be set up to ensure that performance can be monitored and evaluated throughout the year.  You need to understand the effect of changes in levels of performance on the services delivered to your customers or users.

5. Agree specific performance objectives

The organisation’s plans and priorities must be translated into department, team and individual performance objectives. This will usually be by using your existing performance appraisal and staff development processes. Individual plans are most effective when both manager and employee agree them.  Objectives should be SMART. That means;

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Agreed
  • Realistic
  • Time bound.

Is the existing performance management system for your staff  up to the job? If not, take some advice and change it. See Paragraph 7 below.

6. Develop an internal communications’ approach

Effective messages should target your intended audience in the whole range of ways available to you. So, develop a plan for how you will use different media to target various communities within the organisation using for example:

  • Email
  • Intranet (inside the organisation)
  • Internet
  • Newsletter/house magazine
  • Notice board
  • Team briefs
  • Video and in-house TV (you can even use YouTube.)

In addition, regular surveys and suggestion schemes are important ways of ensuring that employees have the opportunity to tell you what they think. This can be on a wide range of issues that impact on  performance.

7. Ensure that performance framework systems are truly in place

A performance review/appraisal system is traditionally used to

  • Set objectives,
  • Identify support needs and
  • Measure progress against objectives.

For it to work effectively, the system must be clearly understood by both managers and employees. This requires:

  • Managers have access to guidance. And the training needed to ensure they manage performance effectively throughout the year
  • All employees have the necessary support, guidance and training to help them engage fully in the performance appraisal process.

If you don’t have these in place it is unlikely that you can become a high performing organisation

8. Support employees to succeed

Effective induction and probation processes for new employees are extremely important. They set the right expectations of performance for both the employee and the manager. Personal development plans (PDPs) should explain how development needs will be met.

9. Encourage performance improvement

Sometimes performance will not meet the required standard. You will need to identify what is getting in the way. Don’t assume anyone chooses to perform poorly. Put in place a plan to deliver improvement and give support. The principle is the same at both the team and individual level. So you need to have clear procedures for dealing with poor performance.

10. Recognise and reward good performance

Good performance needs to be recognised and rewarded. Recognising performance should include sharing success stories. And share the knowledge gained across the organisation. Highlight how good performance helps the organisation as a whole.

Working with an executive coach really can help you get your organisation to perform well. Why not take advantage of my offer of a free half hour coaching session to find out how I can help

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organizational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Performance Management

Performance Management

Performance Management

Managing People – Is Your Performance Review Really Necessary?

Performance management – lots of organisations carry out “performance appraisals.” Most people consider them a “good thing!” And there is lots of information around to help you do them well.

But there is more to encouraging good performance than carrying out the annual performance review. Some people question whether carrying out annual performance reviews actually impacts on the quality of performance.

Let us think a little about the person being assessed. What do they usually think about when a review is due.  Here’s what it likely to be.

What your employee thinks about before their performance management review

  • How is this review going to affect my bonus/performance related pay?
  • How am I being assessed and is it fair?
  • Is my contribution really going to be recognised and acknowledged?
  • How does this review affect my chance of promotion?
  • How well am I doing compared to my peers?

But if you think about it.  These questions don’t reflect why, as a manager, you carry out a performance review.

What you are concerned about is;

  • How will you help the person understand what you think of their performance?
  • What evidence is needed to support your view?
  • If they are not meeting the standard, what advice should you give?
  • What action should follow on from the review?

You are looking to do an assessment that helps your member of staff become more committed to your objectives. How do they become more motivated, accountable, reliable, creative, dedicated, and, yes, happy in the job?

Given the difference in perspectives, holding one annual performance review doesn’t really seem to meet your purpose or theirs. Surely what you need instead is a relationship and structures that support an ongoing dialogue?

No you don’t want spend every day discussing performance.

There is much to be said, though, for commenting very quickly on exceptions in performance – be they good or bad. Giving praise is as important as giving criticism.

Having a performance stock take once a month works for many! Certainly, having a more formal review quarterly, where the question of the bonus isn’t part of the mix, has worked for me. And then, at the end of the year, it is an agreed summary of those quarterly reviews that feeds into the financial reward system.

Developing an effective relationship, and  having an open discussion about the quality of performance is works. It is much more likely to help you and your staff member achieve your goals, both corporate and personal.

Remember, performance management is the process of creating a work environment in which people are enabled to perform to the best of their abilities. Performance management is a whole work system that begins when a job is defined. It ends when an employee leaves your organization.

With a performance management system that works (and a well developed relationship), it becomes much easier to discuss career development. You can consider together opportunities for career progression. Threats to good performance can be seen off before they become real issues. Everyone benefits.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Reactionary Workflow – Breaking the Pattern

Reactionary Workflow – Ideas for Breaking the Pattern

Reactionary Workflow! Where do you really draw the line on your “to do” list? Some of the things we assign ourselves really are necessary; get our teeth cleaned, answer the jury duty summons, pick up the kids. Another category might be negotiable, and yet another list usually contains all those things we actually WANT to do.

And then there is the incoming flow of communication, via email, phone, texts, and our incessant belief that we need to know what is happening and be available to all new sources of information…

Reactionary Workflow

Find the rest of the post at this link

 

 

5 Ways To Combat Reactionary Workflow | Zen Habits

Every few minutes, more communications are being sent your way. Emails, text messages, voice mails, instant messages, twitter messages, facebook posts…and the list goes on.

Your human response? You simply try to stay afloat. You peck away at the latest communications at the top of your many inboxes. And since the flow of communication never ends, you slip into a life of what I have come to call “reactionary workflow.”

For those of us with great ideas and bold goals for the future, reactionary workflow is a big problem. If we spend our working hours reacting to the incoming barrage of communication, we will fail to be proactive with our energy. Our long-term aspirations suffer as a result.

Here are 5 Ways To Combat Reactionary Workflow | Zen Habits.

TEN STEPS TO A HIGH PERFORMANCE CULTURE

In the present climate business performance is key to business survival.  You and your organization cannot afford to underperform.  But how do you ensure your performance management system actually works and works well!

Follow these steps to develop and implement an effective performance management system

1. Show leadership from the top

Those at the top of the organization must be committed to a performance culture and be prepared to change their behavior if necessary to reflect this.   the performance management framework  must be operated throughout the organization from top to bottom.

2. Develop business plans

Business planning must be realistic – what can be delivered with the resources available.  How will those available resources change over time?  Take into account the people management implications – if you invest in training – how will that effect your business plan?   Once plans and priorities have been established, they need to be translated into department, team and individual performance plans through out the organization.  Can you see the the organization’s objectives reflected in the most junior employee’s performance plan?

3. Establish what good performance looks like and how it can be measured

All performance indicators and other criteria used to measure performance must be clearly communicated to staff and all in the organization. Think about what really matters and focus on measuring that.  Keep the number of measures to a minimum.  Want to know more about performance measures – follow this link

4. Monitor and evaluate

Systems need to be set up to ensure that performance, and its effect on service delivery, can be monitored and evaluated throughout the year.

5. Agree specific performance objectives

The organization’s plans and priorities must be translated into department, team and intividual perforamnce objectives, usually by using performance appraisal and staff devlopment processes.  Individula plans are most effective when both manager and employee agree them.  Objectives should be SMART

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Agreed
  • Realistic
  • Time bound.

6. Develop an internal communications approach

Effective messages should target the intended audience in the whole range of ways available to you.   Develop a plan for how you will use them to target different communities within the organisation using for example:

  • email
  • intranet
  • newsletter/house magazine
  • notice board
  • team brief
  • video and in-house TV.

In addition, regular surveys and suggestion schemes are important ways of ensuring that employees have the opportunity to feedback on a wide range of issues that impact on  performance.

7. Ensure that performance framework systems are truly in place

A performance review/appraisal system is traditionally used to set objectives, identify support needs and measure progress against objectives. For it to work effectively, it must be clearly understood by both managers and employees. This requires that:

  • managers have access to guidance and training to ensure they manage performance effectively throughout the year
  • all employees have the necessary support, guidance and training to actively engage in the performance appraisal process.

If you don’t have these in place it is unlikely that you can become a high performing organisation

8. Support employees to succeed

Effective induction and probation processes for new employees are extremely important in setting the right expectations of performance for both the employee and the manager. Personal development plans (PDPs), resulting from the performance review process, should explain how development needs will be met.

9. Encourage performance improvement

Occasionally, performance does not meet the required standard. At organizational level, this should be addressed by identifying what the barriers are to effective performance and putting in place a plan to deliver improvement.

The principle is the same at both the team and individual level: there must be clear procedures for dealing with inadequate performance.

10. Recognize and reward good performance

Good performance needs to be recognized and, where appropriate, rewarded.

Recognizing performance is also about sharing success stories and knowledge across the organisation and highlighting how good performance helps the organisation as a whole.

If you would like to know more about how your organisation is performing follow this link to find out more about Making Performance Meaningful Reviews