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Managing Performance

Performance management is a day-to-day ongoing process that creates an environment in which individual workers are enabled to perform to the best of their ability. Individual skills, abilities, and behaviors are monitored, encouraged, and nurtured to allow workers to meet, and perhaps exceed, the targets and standards that you want them to meet.

There are two reasons for managing performance of your workers. First, you want to make sure your employees are competent in their work so that they can achieve the performance you want from them. Secondly, you want to help your employees to grow in their abilities so that they can exceed the performance you expect from them. If that happens, their productivity will increase and you will be developing future managers and leaders within your company.

A number of actions are needed to achieve this:

  • Develop clear job descriptions that align jobs with the goals of the company.
  • Use a strong recruitment and selection process that makes appropriate matches of individuals with jobs.
  • Work out with each employee what you expect them to accomplish, the standards you expect them to meet, the outcomes you expect them to achieve in their jobs, and how those outcomes will be measured. This is sometimes referred to as management by objectives.
  • Make sure new hires are well oriented to the company, have the right education and training to do the job, and have an opportunity to continue to develop their skills and abilities to stay current with the needs of the job.
  • Provide ongoing coaching and feedback to each and every employee. In general, employees want feedback. They want to know how well they are doing, whether they are doing the right things, and whether they are meeting the expectations of the organization. Employees appreciate feedback that is delivered at the right time and in a respectful way.
  • Design compensation and recognition programs that reward people for their contributions to your company’s goals and objectives, not for the time they punched.
  • Provide opportunities for employees to advance within your company by making development opportunities available to them, by knowing their strengths and ambitions, and by coaching them in their work.
  • Formally review the performance of each worker at least annually, comparing the outcomes from the work with the job description.