Preventing Fires Through Structured Performance Management

Updated: June 29, 2010

BizTip #1 - Use practical performance management tools that get the results you want.

Performance management is not an intuitive process for most supervisors. Without having proper tools at their disposal, supervisors typically use informal approaches that aren't very effective. By using structured tools, supervisors usually will begin to understand fundamental principles behind effective practices. Take a look at examples of structured worksheets for collecting relevant information, interpreting performance data, and communicating findings to employees.

BizTip #2 - Teach supervisors how to use performance management tools.

Tools are effective only if people know how to use them properly. A common mistake is developing a structured performance management system without telling supervisors how it works. Be sure supervisors understand how employee activities contribute to organizational goals. Providing training on making the best use of performance development tools will not only give you better returns on your investment, but will also build supervisors' confidence.

BizTip #3 - Don't let supervisors wing it.

Getting employees to improve their performance is easier said than done. If you leave supervisors to their own devices, you'll probably end up with multiple approaches that do not always yield positive results. Make sure supervisors follow uniform performance management practices that are well documented in a step-by-step guide. Using a structured, documented approach increases consistency in the process, promotes fairness, and minimizes legal problems with employees. Take time to learn more about the most important features of a sound performance management system.

BizTip #4 - Emphasize employee responsibility throughout the performance management process.

Although companies are responsible for providing effective leadership and development opportunities, employees are ultimately responsible for job outcomes. Communicating realistic but challenging job expectations and making employees accountable for their decisions and actions can result in noticeable improvements in employee tardiness, absences, and commitment to organizational goals.

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