High performance management has become an essential pillar for companies who wish to remain competitive and retain top talent. Along with the political, economic, and social disruptions the world currently faces, organizations must also address tech challenges and staff needs quickly and precisely. Consequently, building a robust performance management strategy is no longer an optional extra. Meanwhile, allowing flexibility to be present in all aspects of work could be the key to success.
The struggles caused by the pandemic and its countless effects on our daily lives put leaders and employees in a situation where the demand for flexibility became a serious matter for any performance management plan. With the gained experience, organizations know that low productivity is usually the result of poor behavior in the workplace. Conducts like absenteeism, negativity, or change resistance often decrease the quality and completion of work assignments, affecting the company’s performance.
Today, about 56 percent of millennial workers believe more flexibility will improve productivity. So, how can your company reach a high performance management level while making flexibility the main driver? In a time of continuous disruptions, employees need help setting goals to manage their work effectively. Adequate direction and accountability will improve the performance management process.
Maximizing business value through goal setting
Although goal setting sounds familiar, it has often been underestimated due to the lack of effective practices that would deliver optimal results. Some goals can become overwhelming when they’re not in line with the work process. In fact, when staff goals are aligned with their needs and business needs, employee efficiency and engagement increase, leading to 22 percent higher levels of profitability.
While strategic planning lays out long-term goals for an organization, tactical planning outlines the short-term actions and efforts to achieve them. Employees develop a sense of belonging and a desire to perform their best while executing their everyday tasks with a purpose in mind. Ensure that your tactical goals fulfill your employees’ needs and meet your company’s strategic objectives. Here are some ideas to help you set high performance management goals:
1. Offer a clear direction
Do your managers get all the information they need to understand the business strategy and its relation to them clearly? This is an essential question to ask if you wish for each employee to know how their role relates to the company’s objectives. A true leader should have and offer clear directions to guide and perform specific steps and tasks to help employees achieve their goals.
When employees are guided by a leader who clearly presents the connection between their jobs and the business strategy, high performance increases by 26 percent and engagement improves by up to 40 percent. Provide clarity as you set goals and ensure employees fully understand the impact their jobs have.
2. Encourage team goal setting
Collaboration is more common than ever. With remote and hybrid work models becoming the norm for almost every company, virtual interaction among teams has increased and gained relevance. Gone are the days when setting goals was a one-person job. As teams work together, everyone should be aware of their role in helping others achieve their shared and personal pursuits. When teams understand how their goals relate to each other’s jobs, they will discuss what they need from one another to meet their objectives.
Think of implementing shorter sprints to help teams get work done in smaller chunks and increase visibility. Or set smaller milestones to celebrate weekly or monthly group achievements. The impact you can have on individuals when you acknowledge their accomplishments and potential may have incredibly positive effects. Recognizing the importance of their job every day will lead to hitting bigger targets.
3. Implement goal updates
As we encourage a flexible performance management strategy, companies must know that goals also change or evolve as roles and business constantly transform. Please don’t hesitate to update and adjust objectives as often as required.
Show employees how to set SMART goals to eliminate generalities and make it easier to track progress and identify milestones. Such a technique helps to visualize goals and outcomes and keep employees motivated. The following describes what SMART goals stand for:
- Specific: A clear and precise goal that comes with details on what needs to be accomplished will be highly effective.
- Measurable: Having a way to quantify targets will also make them trackable. This way, you’ll be able to evaluate progress and determine time frames as you reach the finish line.
- Achievable: Are your goals reasonable? This is a vital question that can help employees realize workloads and needed resources. At this point, any adjustments will be beneficial.
- Relevant: Here’s where you ask yourself what’s the real value of pursuing your objectives. How are they part of the bigger picture for the company?
- Time-bound: Having clear and reachable timeframes for everyone in the team helps track the progress and obstacles of each member. It offers a clear map of dates for accomplished tasks and a vision of what is expected.
As you can see, “doing your best” goals aren’t enough to provide clear expectations and deliver higher performance. They’re vague. However, specific goals are set based on precise information that determines the potential range of outcomes from such performance. In addition, goal-setting boosts learning effects and leads to additional task efficiency improvement when doing repetitive duties. Therefore, results are reflected in improved quantity and quality of assignments, while employees learn to master processes using less energy.
When goals are set properly, employees develop a sense of commitment, a crucial driver of organizational health and success. Workers who thrive will deliver better work and look for opportunities to keep progressing.
Building a flexible and ongoing performance strategy
Effectively updating processes as time and needs change can be a decisive factor in building a solid enterprise performance management strategy. As you encourage constant and real-time feedback, you won’t need to wait until the end of the year to adjust your strategy. Allow yourself flexibility and apply the necessary changes as you notice that something can be improved. Act upon current needs and invite employees to be part of those updates; their opinion is essential as they know what can help improve the business environment.
The following two approaches are helpful tools to introduce a performance management strategy that delivers:
- Adjust performance plans to employee needs. Ensure that every worker is part of the performance management process. They need to own the strategy rather than only participate in it. Help them see how their and the company’s goals align to reach a common objective. As you do that, engagement will increase, and employees will drive the evaluation and implementation of changes. This adjustment will deliver honest feedback, which will help improve and maximize the effectiveness of your current strategy.
- Adjust performance strategies to empower collaborative work. Collaboration is essential in our everyday tasks, and high performance management requires that each employee acknowledges how their responsibilities are linked to their teams and to business objectives. Look for opportunities to encourage collaboration and boost the potential of each individual as they work together. Think of the executive teams who run corporations, project teams who create new products or services, sales teams who deliver products to customers. They’re all vital for overall business performance and value. As you empower flexible and effective collaboration, the entire company will have a considerable competitive advantage.
Performance management is worth the time and effort
So, why is performance management important? Your workforce is your most crucial asset, and your business will never reach its full potential unless your staff is engaged and motivated. Investing the proper time and effort into your staff careers will offer benefits worth the investment.
During the past couple of years, about 81 percent of HR leaders have tested different ways to improve high performance management. However, they were hesitant to find out if those efforts had paid off. Some stakeholders consider the performance management process challenging and time-consuming, but when the proper functionality is in place, it delivers a significant impact.
As utility increases, performance and engagement improve, having an enormously positive effect on employees’ perception of performance management. Eventually, the efforts are rewarded. In fact, according to Garner, a 7 percent increase in the workforce percentage of high performers leads to an average increase in revenue of $788 per employee per year. Think of what that can represent for your company if each employee has the potential to be a top performer. Performance management is worth the time and effort when processes are executed with the flexibility to adjust and embrace continuous changes. The value performance management brings to your entire organization can be highly beneficial when done correctly.
When each manager in a company can inspire, offer effective feedback, and empower their teams, the results will bring better achievements in the long run. One of today’s business success components depends on how you work with your people since they’re your most valuable asset and an essential competitive advantage.