Article main image
Feb 17, 2016

Leading a team is quite a rewarding experience.

Managers get to be the ones who instill the culture and values of the company into the workforce and watch a person’s career unfold in front of them. They get to be a part of that, maybe even the reason for it.

But, there are parts of managing that might not be so pretty — like performance management.

Yes, managing employee performance can be an overwhelming task. The moving parts required to make performance management effective and change-provoking go beyond one person’s abilities.

It takes organization, facilitation and strategy to manage employee performance in ways that make your people better at what they do, happy with where they work and ready to stay in it for the long haul. But getting to that point is easier said than done and managers should proceed with caution.

If your company is making these mistakes in performance management, they may need to rethink their process.

Mistake #1: Your process lacks employee development

Did you know career development opportunities are one of the top things a candidate considers before accepting a job? It’s also one of the Top Five reasons employees quit their job and search for greener pastures.

In this job market, it doesn’t take long to find a replacement! What this means for performance management is that there are countless opportunities to find ways to develop employees, even if that doesn’t necessarily mean a promotion or new role.

With the right performance appraisal process, employees should feel fulfilled because they’ve been enlightened to their strengths, are now aware of their weaknesses and have goals to work towards to improve their own performance. They should leave review meetings with a new sense of purpose and an idea of how their hard work is going to help the company.

How can companies achieve these things? Examine the capabilities of your current performance management process. Is there a clear process for goal-setting and learning integration? If not, it might be time to go shopping for performance management software that does.

Mistake #2: Reviews are not happening frequently enough

One of the biggest misconceptions of performance management is that reviews are only done annually.

While that may be true for some companies, it doesn’t have to be true for all. It’s at the discretion of the employer to decide how many performance reviews to have per year and I’m here to tell you, once is not enough.

In a recent TriNet survey, 85 percent of Millennials said they would feel more confident in their current role if they were able to have more frequent performance conversations with their manager.

How can you do this? Simple. Implement more frequent performance reviews!

If you’re not sure how many, start with at least two per year and adjust from there. There is performance management software with built in accountability features to help keep managers on track with their performance management process.

Mistake #3: The wrong person is managing performance

Performance reviews can be a source of stress for employees if the wrong person is chosen to administer it. These meetings require a certain kind of trust and chemistry if managers want their criticism and praise to be taken seriously.

The same goes in the day-to-day workings of the office, which is why recent research done by Gallup reveals that nearly 60 percent of employees with managers who are open and approachable are more engaged in their work.

How can you make this happen? A good rule of thumb is to have their direct supervisor, the person who actually sees them do their work every day, carry out reviews. There are performance management systems that easily map out the review process, keeping the right people accountable for their team.

Mistake #4: Poor compensation communication

Compensation tends to be one of the most uncomfortable parts of performance management.

Managers either have good or bad news to give, but they will still be wondering what reaction they will get from their employee. This doesn’t have to be the case for everyone.

How, you ask? With a performance management process that is fully documented, with clear expectations and goals laid out for the employee to work toward, the compensation offer should not come as a surprise.

Companies should make it a point to educate their employees on the market rate as well.  According to recent research, 79 percent of employees paid above market rate actually feel they are paid at or below it! Take this a step further with a performance management software that provides compensation recommendations that align with the company budget and you’re all set for compensation communication!