Step-by-step guide to best practices

Performance management in the workplace:

• Aligns goals

• Builds competencies

• Focuses on employee development

• Engages and empowers employees

• Facilitates a dialogue about performance

• Ensures employees get feedback and recognition

• Cumulates in a formal review at least once a year

• Improves your bottom line results.

Four steps for building the case for performance management

Even though most HR practitioners are familiar with the benefits that performance management can provide, many business leaders, managers and employees are not.

And to be truly successful in introducing performance management best practices in your organisation, you need everyone’s buy-in.

To build the case for performance management, you’ll need to:

1. Identify and prioritise the particular challenges your organisation is currently facing

2. Identify your objectives for implementing performance management best practices

3. Estimate the return on investment (ROI) you expect to receive

4. Communicate the benefits of employee performance management.

Step 1: Identify your performance management-related challenges

Start by clearly identifying the impacts of not having a formal performance management process or of having only a basic, paper-based process. Rank or prioritise these challenges in terms of their impact on the organisation, and its ability to achieve its objectives and results. To do this, you’ll want to consult senior leaders, managers, employees and your HR team.

To be truly successful in introducing performance management best practices in your organisation, you need everyone’s buy-in

Step 2: Set performance management process implementation objectives

Objectives should relate directly to the challenges you’ve identified, as well as to your organisation’s high-level goals and strategy. Your objectives, which can range from tactical to strategic, will help you to measure your success as you implement your new performance management practices.

Step 3: Estimate your anticipated ROI

Your leadership team will most likely be interested in quantifying the anticipated benefits and ROI to justify the allocation of budget, time and resources for implementing employee performance management best practices. So estimate the ROI you anticipate achieving.

Step 4: Communicate the benefits of employee performance management

You’ll need to communicate your goals and the benefits of performance management to all levels in the organisation. Start with your senior leadership team to get sponsorship at the highest level. Once they’ve approved your initiative, communicate your intentions and the benefits of performance management to your HR counterparts, to the management team, and of course, to employees.

Design a best practices performance management process

Once you have buy-in from all your key stakeholders to either create and implement a new formal performance management process or to improve your current process, you’re ready to begin the design and implementation phase. To do this effectively, you need to:

1. Establish your project team

2. Document your objectives and success criteria

3. Define the steps in your process, which should include:

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4. Select the types of reviews to include

5. Schedule the timing for your process and activities

6. Decide how you will conduct, manage and administer your process

7. Integrate your organisation’s competency model

8. Integrate organisational goals to encourage alignment

9. Create best-practice employee review forms.

Roll out your new performance management process and strategy

As with the rollout of any new organisational process, you need to make sure that staff at all levels of the organisation, from employees to managers to executives, support the change and have the information and tools they need to follow your new process.

So you’ll need to:

• Design training materials

• Communicate the details of your new process, including:

o The reasons why it is being adopted and implemented

o The organisation’s and leadership’s commitment to the new process

o The benefits it will bring to the organisation and to all participants

o The timing of the process roll out and first activities

o Everyone’s roles and responsibilities in the process

• Deliver training.

Learn more

This article has given you a high level overview of the steps you need to take to implement employee performance management best practices in your organisation.

For more details, download the complete e-book: Employee performance management: a step-by-step guide to best practices.

The e-book explains each of the above steps and activities in greater detail, and gives you a wealth of downloadable worksheets and handouts to help you complete each one.