Managing performance: Four ways to guarantee success

3. Develop knowledge and skills

As part of the ongoing coaching that managers are providing, they should also be able to identify any gaps in their team’s knowledge or skills that need honing. Employees are more likely to produce good results if they feel valued. 

According to Dr. Nelson, author of Make More Money by Making Your Employees Happy: “When employees feel that the company takes their interest to heart, then the employees will take company interests to heart.” 

Investing in your employees is an investment in the future of your business. Provide employees with all the tools and knowledge they need in order to achieve. This might mean holding in-house training sessions, investing in online e-learning programs and new software to simplify tasks, or allowing employees to shadow another team member.

4. Review and assess progress

While informal performance tracking and reviews are a key activity, it’s still important for most companies to hold formal progress reviews or appraisals. 

These are much more effective if they are run as a summary of discussions that wrap up the work so far, rather than a big review of work over the past year. 

Formal performance reviews should look at what worked and what didn’t work and what can be learned in order to make new plans moving forward. The focus should be on future rather than fixating on the past. What can be done to improve from now on? What career goals need discussing? What actions will be taken?

All four principles should be followed in order for businesses to achieve effective performance management. 

These principles shouldn’t be viewed as targets to be hit one after another, but as an ongoing cycle of performance management where planning, tracking, taking actions and development take places constantly, while formal reviews are needed only as a summary point. 

Having this performance management cycle in place sets the foundations for a team that delivers at its best, but success will also be determined by the specific goals set and dedication to the process shown by the management.

Stuart Hearn is CEO of Clear Review.

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