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

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

         

Managing People – Contracts of employment take a great deal of thought

Managing People – Contracts of employment take a great deal of thought

Following on from yesterday’s post about the Psychological Contract, Annabel Kaye,  Irenicon – employment law in a mad world, thought you would find this video useful. It is about how employers make life so much tougher for themselves than it needs to be by using another organization’s contracts. And Annabel is right, many employers do not understand how important the right contract is  in setting up good performance management and employee relations for the future. One size really does not fit all, better to reflect the spirit of that organization’s particular psychological contract.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational 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 all her books on Amazon at this link

         

The Makings of a Great Leader

Colorado Technical University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today we have a guest post from Lindsey Harper Mac who is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts about education and management on behalf of Colorado Technical University. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree.  This post has some great ideas about how to monitor progress towards the achievement of your organization’s strategic goals

The Makings of a Great Leader

Leading a team of diverse individuals toward a common goal is similar to flying an aircraft. Even if the plane is flying only one degree off course, it will land far from its desired destination if the pilot fails to correct the error. Under the same principle, a solid team of individuals originally set on the right path can drift away from their long-range goals over time. In such cases, it takes a strong, competent leader to identify the signs of drifting and help the team get back on track.

Becoming a Great Leader

Good leaders are those with solid people skills, dedication to the task and the ability to delegate effectively. However, good leaders are not always great leaders. While good leaders can usually accomplish a task satisfactorily, great leaders manage teams that go the extra mile. The difference between a good leader and a great leader is initiative and self-improvement.

Great leaders are the ones who purposefully seek out opportunities for leadership development, such as an educational program or leadership conference. By continuously developing their management skills, great leaders ensure that they always have the resources they need to supervise their teams effectively, review their progress regularly and keep them moving in the right direction.

Monitoring Progress

Good leaders know the benefits of setting a S.M.A.R.T. set of project goals. S.M.A.R.T. goals are those that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. However, the greatest leaders realize that setting these goals is only the beginning. To ensure that the team continues to move toward and doesn’t drift off course, great leaders review the progress of the team on a regular basis.

Monitoring the team’s progress involves conducting regular, informal evaluations in order to detect variances in the team’s perception of the goals. Such reviews prevent the decay of the team’s common understanding of objectives, resource availability, timing and priorities. Below are some tips great leaders can use to evaluate the progress of their teams.

  • Control Point Charts. A control point chart is a graphical tool leaders can use to pinpoint variances in quality, cost or time. The chart is created using data from the project’s plan, as well as actual data collected during implementation. Using this data, leaders can identify discrepancies between projected values and actual values. For example, the chart may show that the team has spent more on a portion of the project than was originally budgeted.
  • Project Scheduling Controls. At the beginning of any project, good leaders create a timeline. By using project scheduling controls throughout the project, great leaders can compare the team’s actual progress at a given stage to the progress planned for that stage in the timeline. This allows the leader to identify delays early.
  • Group Feedback Sessions. When a segment of the project ends, the team leader can hold a group discussion with members of the team to learn more about their individual experiences during the project. During this session, the leader will gain valuable information that he can use to improve the team’s efficacy for the rest of the project.

A leader’s job doesn’t end when the goals are set and the project is moving. The best leaders are continuously improving their own leadership skills and regularly evaluating the progress of the team. By setting S.M.A.R.T. goals and ensuring that the team continues to work toward them throughout project, a leader can guide his team to the desired destination without unnecessary waste or delay.

About the author: Lindsey Harper Mac is a professional writer living in the Indianapolis area. She specializes in writing guest posts about education and management on behalf of Colorado Technical University. Currently, Lindsey is completing work on her master’s degree. 

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