7 Extraordinary Approaches to Performance Management

There is no business organisation that wants to grow bigger and better. Even if you ask the CEOs of the world’s leading companies, they will tell you that there are always new horizons to be touched. The sky’s the limit after all!

Having said that, the fundamentals of performance management is among the most salient management prerequisites for every business. How well a business does at performance management has a direct correlation with its advancement.

If we take performance management out of the picture, business leaders will have no mechanism to supervise and assess the performance of employees in a constructive manner. If that is not happening within an organisation, the organisation may soon succumb to the befitting competition.

After all, an organisation’s performance will be evaluated in terms of the collective performance of its employees, isn’t it? In principle, an organisation is not an entity independent of its employees and vice versa.

Having said that, performance management, employee engagement, employee retention, profitability, and business growth are all correlated to each other. Effective performance management ensures that an organisation is on the right track.

It establishes that there is coherence between the individual performance of employees and the overall performance of the organisation. The imperativeness of such coherence explains why businesses need to be smart with their performance management tactics.

In this blog, we look at some exceptional and pragmatic strategies for proficient performance management. These strategies and tactics are aligned with the most relevant dimensions of the modern-day workplace. It takes some phenomenal measures to drive superlative outcomes. That is exactly what these strategies are about. So without further ado, let us get started!

The following are some excellent strategies for magnificent performance management.

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Redefine KPIs as per the new dimensions in the business world

We have all been witnesses to some rampant and unimaginable changes happening in the corporate realm. There have been some humongous overhauls in the last few years and what we see today is a reinvented and reimagined corporate space. Needless to say, these changes will also have an impact on organisational goals and performance metrics.

Having said that, for effective performance management, you need to redefine the key performance indicators for your teams. You need to first indulge in intelligible research and development to identify new KPIs that are aligned to this revamped business world. Thereafter, you need to define these KPIs for your team members with precision.

When you do so, they will have a clear idea of the parameters evaluating and measuring their performances. This will further enable them to restructure their goals and set new goals for their performance.

You cannot assume that they will align their objectives to the new normal on their own. Taking things for granted can be a hefty mistake after all! You have to ensure that they always know what is expected of them and what are the KPIs they need to deliver on.

Otherwise, ineffective communication of goals and objectives can bring down the overall performance of an organisation. You do not want that to happen for sure and hence you should always don the role of a charismatic leader who defines everything with great clarity.

Create a well-defined performance roadmap

Your responsibilities as a leader do not stop at conveying to employees their respective KPIs. You also need to create an extensive performance roadmap for the organisation to achieve its purpose. Moreover, after creating a well thought and well-defined performance roadmap, you need to present it to your team in a manner that is easy to comprehend.

In fact, having dimensions of flexibility in your performance roadmap will be a great idea. Flexibility will make room for alterations and modifications in the performance plan as per dynamic factors.

Moreover, you can also put up the drafts of your performance plans for discussions and deliberations. The idea is to make performance roadmaps inclusive with ideas, opinions, and perspectives from employees holding different strengths and expertise.

After all, versatile perspectives will refine performance work plans for the better and make them more efficient. Furthermore, such inclusiveness will also promote a greater sense of belonging in the workplace.

In case you didn’t know, a greater sense of belonging among employees can optimise their performance by 56 percent as inferred by the survey findings of BetterUp. Having said that, there is every reason why you ought to foster a sense of belonging in your employees as a part of your performance management strategies.

Reward exemplary performance

Managing the performance of your teams is quite synonymous with inspiring the best performances in them. You have to set a benchmark of performance for your employees and give them enough reasons to set their eyes on that benchmark. For doing that, rewards and recognition work in the best way as they keep employees engaged and motivated.

To substantiate, as per HubSpot, 69 percent of employees assert that they will work much harder upon receiving genuine recognition. As you can see, acknowledgment of effort and talent is vital to most employees.

Having said that, the culture of rewarding exemplary performances is the key to performance management. Employees would be driven to take their performance to new horizons when they feel their contributions are being recognised.

Besides, others who see their co-workers winning rewards for inspirational efficiency will feel motivated too. Of course, they too would want to be the blue-eyed employees of their leaders!

Appreciation and rewards like sponsored vacations, free unlimited coffee,  in-house food ,mental wellness, telemedicine and financial wellness programs up and running in their organisations. and will give employees a firm reason to align their individual goals to organisational objectives.

For any business that aspires to grow big, such alignment of objectives is quintessential.

So, reward your employees whenever their performance sets fine examples for others. Let everyone know that their exceptional contributions would not go unnoticed. Otherwise, it is only a matter of time that disengagement starts lurking in the workplace.

Inculcate a continuous feedback mechanism

Some people are of the view that performance reviews are sufficient to the cause of effective performance management. Do you have the same perspective on the management of performances? Well, the intricacies of the corporate world are changing at a swift pace.

You rather need a robust mechanism of continuous feedback in the workplace for worthwhile performance management. With the high influx of changes in the business world and the ever-increasing need for innovation, feedback has to be more regular.

As a business leader, you must know the relevance of continuous feedback and the attitude of employees towards the same. As per HubSpot, the employee attrition rates are 15 percent lower in organisations that implement incessant feedback loops. To add, among the employees who exhibit active levels of engagement, 43 percent receive feedback every week.

Moreover, some may think that employees are not very receptive to feedback. However, that is a mere myth that needs to be debunked. As many as 65 percent of corporate employees are of the view that they should receive more feedback.

Speaking of the advantages of a continuous feedback system, there are multifaceted ways in which it adds more value to performance management within an organisation. In fact, the inculcation of a continuous feedback mechanism can be a great competitive advantage. To elucidate, listed below are some of the key merits of continuous feedback.

  • Continuous feedback mechanisms promote regular learning
  • Regular feedback systems help employees to adapt to changes in the work environment
  • Incessant feedback helps employees gain a sense of self-awareness
  • Regular feedback fosters positive working relations in the workplace

Therefore, as you can see, from performance management to change management, a continuous feedback tradition is the competitive edge every business needs. When are you making the first move to incorporate this fabulous strategy.

Unique performance management approaches

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Introduce mentorship programs in the workplace

Ceaseless learning and working on areas of improvement are crucial to great performances. Employers who can manage the learning of their employees in a constructive manner are able to perform much better when it comes to performance management.

This is where mentorship programs in the workplace prove to be an out-of-the-box idea to get great performances going. If you look at the world’s leading business corporations, the likes of Google, Microsoft, Accenture etcetera have been able to drive great results through excellent mentoring programs.

You can certainly take a leaf out of their books and introduce some strategic and thoughtful mentoring programs in your organisations. Your employees can learn enormously from your experience and the experience of other leaders in the organisation through meticulous mentorship initiatives.

Besides, in addition to assisting employees to deliver outstanding performances, mentoring also has other business benefits to offer. To explain, as per Deloitte, companies with mentoring programs have 25 percent higher rates of employee retention.

Playing a part in your employees’ learning always pays off. You should always look to add as much value as you can to their development. That will have your performance management efforts cut down to half! In fact, online mentoring can be a smart way to manage the performance of your employees in trending remote jobs.

Facilitate stress management in employees

Overwhelming stress and exceptional performance cannot go hand in hand, can they? It is a well-known fact that stress is a major hindrance to cognitive abilities, wellness, and productivity. In the modern corporate culture that looks vibrant and effulgent from the outside, the horrific levels of stress in employees put forth the dark side of it.

As per an article by Forbes, there is a massive augmentation in employee burnout rates. The article reveals that 52 percent of employees have reported burnout issues in 2021.

This is an alarming sign for the corporate world as high burnout rates are everyone’s loss. Having said that, to manage performances better, businesses need to assist their employees in stress management.

You need to come up with outside-the-box initiatives to support the mental health of your employees. If you can do that in an effective manner, the prospects of performance management and the morale of your teams will seem much brighter.

A lot of business organisations have already decoded the significance of stress management in performance management. They have various mental wellness initiatives and stress management programs to keep their employees going.

In fact, Nike took it to the next level when it announced a week-long mental health break for its employees. It announced towards the end of August 2021 that employees at its corporate headquarters in Oregon can avail a paid mental health break to destress.

As a part of their performance management plans, businesses are now trying to bring innovation in helping their employees to destress. Needless to say, a relaxed workforce will any day perform much better than a workforce always vulnerable to burnout. Do you still think employers can afford to ignore the stress levels among their employees?

Empower employees by backing them

Micromanagement is a bad error that some managers or leaders make in the name of performance management. Micromanagement frustrates employees, makes them doubt their abilities, and leads them to disengagement.

On the contrary, macro-management is best suited to the contemporary corporate world driven by the virtue of flexibility. For productive performance management, you need to show great trust in your employees.

What millennials and Gen Y workers want is that their managers empower them by backing their abilities. They do not want to be micromanaged and be told how to do things at all times. They want their employers and managers to give them their fair share of flexibility and autonomy to bring out the best in them.

Hence, if we look at performance management from the purview of these generations in the workforce, empowerment holds the key. By delivering on employees’ expectations of flexibility, you can also improve your company culture in a fascinating way.

Moving forward, it is imperative to highlight how trust materialises into metrics of business success. As per the neuroscience of trust explained by Harvard Business Review, employees report 50 percent higher productivity when leaders show trust in them. To add, in companies that endorse high trust, employees exhibit 76 percent more engagement. Moreover, in high-trust workplaces, employees report 74 percent lower levels of stress.

It is incredible how showing little trust in your employees can drive colossal positive changes. You can tick most boxes right on the checklist of performance management and organisational success by fostering a culture of trust.

Besides, trust is a mutual entity, and every time you show trust in your employees, their faith in you will also amplify in the best interest of the organisation. With trust, you can build morales that can defeat even the most insurmountable challenges!

In Summary

There needs to be a  novel approach to performance management in this reinvented corporate world. Appreciation, empowerment, feedback, and mentoring are the four salient piers of successful performance management in contemporary times. Moreover, for attracting great performances, you also need to look after the mental wellness of your employees and offer adequate support.

As long as the execution of these dimensions in the workplace is worthwhile, you will stay on the top of your performance management game. Your leadership performance will determine your organisation’s performance management efficacy!


About the Author

Jessica Robinson is a charismatic corporate leader, a selfless educator, and a versatile content creator. Despite a management degree, her vision behind blogging is not only to follow her passion but to create more informed societies. Her selflessness reflects in every piece of her work on The Speaking Polymath.

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