Performance Appraisal is Different from Performance Management

Many HR professionals look towards having performance appraisal as frequent as possible, and most employees have no interest in the exercise. In fact, a good percent of employees do not think performance reviews are accurate measures. So does that mean reviews are a thing of the past? Not necessarily.

As organizations make their annual plans, a solid strategy for feedback that is mutually beneficial to both you and your employees is still going to be the key to talent retention, a positive work environment, and the overall growth and productivity of your organization, especially when you’re managing employees from multiple generations.

A performance management plan lets your employees know the vision and plans for the company in a given year and gives them a clear line of sight as to how they contribute to the fulfillment of that plan. A technology driven PM process that allows for real time organizational visibility is also a way to get feedback about how your organization is doing, if your employees are committed to your goals, and what you can do to improve morale.

A performance management and the appraisal component process are crucial to your overall business performance strategy, but it needs to be done properly -- not just once a year. At Clarionttech Services we advocate for monthly Performance Goal updates and audits and biannual formal reviews. You see performance management is not about the performance appraisal alone it’s about the meaningful activities that is done during the year to ensure that the goals that you agreed to at the beginning of the year is still relevant or on track for completion by the end of the year. Goal Management and Performance Management are a strategic decision and not a burden on HR Managers or employees so respect the process and strengthen it in your organization. How?

 

1) Create accountability in your performance management system by requiring your managers to have regular conversations with direct reports about their performance. Performance issues that go undetected should be traced back to the manager that failed to do their due diligence. You would be surprised how serious your managers will get about managing performance if their performance evaluation is dependent upon their success in this area.

2) The rules of effective behavioral management say that you must reinforce good behavior and punish for undesirable outcomes. In either situation, the reinforcement or punishment must be immediate, consistent, and used when reasonable. While the word "punish" is rather harsh, the point here is the same principles apply to performance management. Reinforce positive outcome consistently, immediately and take a balanced-approach (that is overdoing it doesn't produce good outcomes). The same is important when it comes to addressing poor performance outcomes.

We have the expectation that people know what the right behaviors are and that rewarding simple behaviors sends the wrong message. We want to reward those people who go above and beyond, but we hate to reward people for merely 'doing their job'.

This is a big mistake, especially if you are trying to establish the right culture within your team.

Think about the behaviors that you want to see and write them down in a list.

There will generally be two categories of behavior that will make your team successful. Firstly, there will be 'Strategic Behaviors’. These are the things that simply help achieve your operational goals, and execute your strategy. They might be things like:

  • Follow up all phone inquiries within 24 hours,
  • Try to up sell every order, or
  • Make three appointments a day with new prospects.

The second category will be ‘Cultural Behaviors’ (Core Values). And these are the things that will help to reinforce your culture or your team brand. They will reflect the way that you engage each other as a team, or the way you deal with clients. They are things such as:

  • Open and honest communication
  • Go the extra mile, or
  • Always show a positive, can-do attitude.
  • Doing Safety Briefing before the start of a job

Here's where things get tricky. We assume that people should know all of these things. We assume that this is 'business as usual’; that its common sense and our staff should just be doing these things as a matter of course.

But we couldn't be more wrong. Yes, sure, people should be doing them. But the reality is that every culture is unique and is represented by a unique set of behaviors - both strategic and cultural. To create your unique culture, you need to reinforce that unique set of behaviors - constantly!

If you want to build a culture where those behaviors are automatic, where the culture is completely ingrained, then you need to reward all of those behaviors consistently and often. That's really the only way to make sure that those behaviors form into habits and your culture becomes truly embedded in your everyday routines.

So stop waiting for those miraculous moments, and get over your assumptions that you shouldn't recognize people for merely 'doing their job'. And start rewarding the behaviors that you want to see; all of them, all the time.