Performance Management is a vital process for modern organizations. In an enterprise setting, comprised of hundreds or thousands of employees, management cannot afford to wait for the annual review results to assess their employees’ level of performance. Managers need effective performance management tools and techniques set in place to receive on-time and pertinent feedback. More importantly, employees expect feedback and a culture that fosters their own development, and want to understand how their efforts tie into corporate objectives, what is expected of them, and how they are measured for it.
Let’s begin by discussing the 5 key practices for performance management. Then, we will examine various tools which will help you maintain high-levels of performance management within your organization
5 Key Performance Management Tools and Techniques:
- Be straightforward about your expectations: Employees need well-defined goals; vague requests or retroactive feedback won’t cut it. They need to understand what is required of them, what their personal benchmarks are and what the guidelines are for them to achieve them. Your team can’t be marginalized or left in the dark running around in a proverbial hamster wheel. They need to feel that they are a productive part of your operation, and require a clear view as to how they fit in with — and contribute to — corporate objectives. Define specific goals, define paths and explain rationale and context.
- Be direct about how you measure performance: After setting goals, employees must know what constitutes success. The guidelines for measuring success must be clear and objective. Measuring success is a large part of the Performance Management process and must not be a rare or annual review practice. Both managers and employees must always have direct access to clear and easy-to-read analysis of where they are relative to their goals, peers and personal benchmarks; that way, they will be able to course-correct or receive guidance if necessary.
- Make sure you focus on work essence: If you decided on certain Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), ask yourself – are these KPIs measuring the actions that lead to good performance or are they just retroactively measuring success? While the former will enable you to motivate employees, improve performance and fix problems, the latter will just cause under-performing employees to disengage, and with little-to-no valuable knowledge. Another question to ask is whether employees will improve performance as result of working towards these KPIs, or will they just work on the specifics of what’s being measured. For example, if in a sales-center your performance KPI is daily completed-calls, an employee might be motivated to call a lot of people and hang up. On the other hand, if you measure performance according to average conversion rates from lead to client, combined with average call attempts made per lead, you can actually find out if poor sales performance is a result of a lack of persistence or by another factor.
- Invest in building motivation: Happy, motivated workers perform better. Creating an environment that breeds happy employees can be achieved in a variety of ways; pep talks and showing appreciation for a job well done are just a couple of examples of proven methods. The more employees are involved with their performance management process – the more they are likely to be motivated to improve. A great approach to pursue en route to building motivation is gamification , i.e. using processes and experiences from game mechanics and design such as leaderboards, status bars and badges to generate intrinsic motivation. (You can learn more about how gamification can be used to motivate employees and drive performance by watching our special Gamification webinar series).
- Monitor & adjust: Performance management should offer constant and direct insights and feedback. These elements enable managers to improve employee engagement, or provide precise, on-demand, bite-sized training in areas where skills are lacking. If any of the measures you take are not relevant or not working you should be willing and quickly able to adapt.
Technology to the Rescue
The technology being developed to support and improve performance management in organizations is constantly improving. Nowadays, performance management technology can facilitate all of the practices mentioned above. It is now possible to streamline goal-setting via digital processes in a way that has objectives synced with data-analytics on actual business performance and that can be altered as needed in real-time. Additionally, you can tether efficiency measurements to the employee/manager discourse, and even use gamification platforms to instantly display targets to build narratives that engage employees during their day-to-day grind. The aim of all these tools is to improve performance by empowering, substantiating and focusing employee-manager discourse, by giving both sides the tools to improve.
How Centrical Helps
Utilizing performance management platforms such as Centrical generates transparency. This is achieved through collecting data from your company’s various enterprise systems and presenting it to employees and managers in the form of relatable, easy-to-understand game elements (e.g. missions and points). Additionally, Centrical connects performance to learning, prompting employees to complete relevant training campaigns or micro-lessons based on their failed-attempts to reach certain KPIs.
Centrical provides a performance management platform with built-in gamification features, designed to significantly improve business outcomes through real-time performance tracking, goal-setting, employee engagement and on-the-job achievements.
The platform provides an open architecture for easy integration with existing systems. Additionally, it allows users to work across numerous enterprise applications simultaneously, on mobile, TV, and the web. It enables quick launching of gamification projects, providing real-time performance metrics that go beyond just using leaderboards and points in performance gamification. Centrical’s unique platform presents users with sophisticated analytics for visualizing performance over time and across any benchmark, complete with engaging themes and narratives to help drive motivation and learning.