As a manager or leader on a team, your job includes a rather important aspect of supervising employees. Your responsibilities include performance management, which may involve annual performance reviews or regular check-ins with your team members to provide feedback and assist in improving their overall performance. But what is performance management in terms of supervising a team? How do you define performance management?
According to the University of California Berkeley, performance management is a continual method of communicating between managers or supervisors and their employees. This type of communication continues throughout the year and involves meeting the general strategic goals of the company.
In addition, the process of communicating between supervisors and workers involves determining goals, clarifying expectations, setting requirements, offering feedback, and looking over the results of a worker’s performance.
As a manager, you will need to move beyond the typical annual review and provide feedback to employees periodically throughout the year. You’ll want to include regular check-in meetings with individual employees to ensure they are on top of their tasks. During an annual review, you will need to determine whether an employee has achieved the required objectives and whether to add more goals to the following year.
While the definition of performance management is relatively straightforward, many supervisors have made various mistakes when handling feedback for workers’ performance. Below we outline the biggest mistakes and what may go wrong with traditional forms of performance management.
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Biggest Mistakes Supervisors Make with Performance Management
One of the largest problems that supervisors have made in terms of managing feedback is providing only an annual review and forgetting about the ongoing discussion that needs to be made with team members, according to an Inc.com article.
In fact, many Millennials today believe that employee performance feedback needs to be completely changed. Furthermore, one study with 1,000 Millennial survey takers found that 74% were unsure how their bosses and coworkers view their performance at work and 85% stated they would feel more sure of themselves in their current job if they had conversations about their performance with supervisors more frequently.
Annual reviews tend to focus more on long-term goals and how to improve performance for the future. As such, employers tend to forget the importance of meeting more current and short-term needs. Often, workers meeting short-term goals can eventually improve their performance for future projects as well.
In addition, younger workers are more focused on the criticisms they receive and do not pay attention to the more positive feedback. These employees tend to be confused by the negative critiques when they are not provided with ways to improve. Feedback needs to be very clear to be effective and managers will need to explain the type of processes employees can utilize to improve their performance.
According to Forbes, another major problem that workers have seen is the continual focus of managers on increasing employee’s goals instead of rewarding or praising them for their achievements. In addition, one research study has found that 79% of workers leave their job because of a “lack of appreciation.” As such, the way you provide your feedback to employees will need to include a focus on providing positive statements and potentially rewards through raises or bonuses for the highest achieving workers.
The traditional performance review process has also had too many problems in terms of excessive paperwork and a decline in creativity and meaning for workers and employers, according to the Harvard Business Review. Annual reviews, for instance, have kept supervisors and employees from collaborating more and even harmed innovation.
Too many managers have used older ways of managing employees in which they focus more on motivating strong employees and potentially terminating the weaker workers instead of coaching their team members or providing rewards to help them improve. Due to smaller budgets for merit pay increases among companies around the globe, more organizations are now focusing on coaching employees and helping workers grow and improve in their position.
According to a McKinsey & Company survey of nearly 2,000 respondents, more than half have found that performance management does not have a beneficial impact on employee or company performance. In addition, about two-thirds of all respondents stated that their organizations are adding at least one meaningful change to their performance management over the last 18 months.
Clearly, companies today are changing their performance feedback strategies and moving away from the typical mistakes that were used in the past. Below we outline how to effectively conduct performance reviews and provide feedback to employees the right way.
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Best Tips for Improving Performance Management at Your Company
The McKinsey & Company survey found that one-third of professionals stated implementing either the streamlining of the formal review process, separating discussions between financial rewards and performance, or simplifying ratings. Clearly, businesses have already moved forward in changing their performance feedback processes.
Some of the typical ways you can implement a better system for performance management is to provide opportunities for showing appreciation, reports Forbes. The typical cycle of providing feedback to your employees include four steps of planning, acting, monitoring, and reviewing performance, which all provide ways for you to show positive feedback to your employees.
The planning step includes setting goals and creating a direction for day-to-day work. You can provide positive feedback in terms of letting your workers know why you believe in them and what strengths they have to accomplish a particular task. Appreciating your workers’ abilities is an important part of pushing forward better performance.
During the process of employees working or acting on a project, you can continue to encourage your workers by showing your appreciation. Too many employees have found that their supervisors only meet with them at the beginning and at the end of a project. However, continual support is more important in helping boost confidence among your employees, creating a better employer-employee relationship, and helping employees ensure they are on track with their projects.
During the monitoring stage, you can help your employees by helping address any challenges and provide rewards for positive results. The more rewards that are offered, the greater the achievements workers are likely to bring to a company. Workers often mention the importance of their supervisors recognizing their achievements, which likely leads to more loyalty among employees.
Lastly, during the review process, workers and their employers focus on goal achievement and project results. During this process, the supervisor holds a meeting with an employee to determine what they have accomplished during a specific time frame and how their performance could be improved.
This is a perfect opportunity to provide employees with positive feedback including things related to their strength, hard work, and general positive personality. Whatever positive qualities they possess, be sure to stress them during the review process.
Based on the article from Inc.com, some positive ways to improve your performance feedback is to incorporate more frequent assessment cycles at your company. You can conduct monthly reviews instead of an annual performance assessment.
Instead of completely ending the idea of formal reviews, you can adopt the parts that are working in terms of a traditional review meeting and remove the aspects that provide no help to workers or supervisors. Surveys show that many people feel turnover rates would decline in companies if greater recognition is provided to workers. As such, be sure to give feedback to your team members in the moment, which should improve performance as a whole.
Essentially, happy and engaged workers who receive proper recognition tend to thrive at companies and provide better results. As such, you’ll need to provide frequent feedback and help provide pathways toward improvements in workers’ professional careers. Adding the right incentives and taking steps to engage employees will help your company succeed in the long-run.
If you follow the steps outlined above, your performance management and feedback will go a long way toward creating a better working environment and bringing greater success for your organization.
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Why Time Management Software Tools are Perfect for Tracking Performance
In your strive to provide better feedback and manage your workers’ performance, you’ll need to have the best results at your fingertips. During a quarterly review, you’ll want to include information regarding deadlines and the time spent on projects.
As such, you’ll benefit from Runrun.it time management software since it includes excellent time tracking tools such as a timeline that provides information on how a project is moving along. Additionally, the amount of time workers spend on a project will be automatically logged through this software. Team leaders and supervisors will be able to see whether completed projects have met the set deadline, the number of projects that were finished by a team, and the amount of work that required greater quality control.
In addition to time tracking tools, employees and supervisors will have access to a dashboard platform through the Runrun.it software. This customizable dashboard allows everyone to track metrics as well, which will help managers measure the performance of their team members. To check out if this software program is right for your company, click here for a free trial.