7 Deadly Sins of Performance Management
Effective performance management can mean the difference between profit and deficit, employee retention and loss, and productivity and stagnation.
The common theme surrounding failure to implement successful performance management stems from a lack of communication and consistency.
Before introducing a new program, identify the core “Deadly Sins” every manager must avoid.
Sin #1: Assuming Performance Will Improve Simply Because Management Mandates It
Senior management announcing a directive for improved performance does not equate to a performance management program.
Regardless of how enthusiastic or insistent the initiative is, without a clearly defined program and measurable goals, improvements will fail. In this case, it is more than just the thought that counts.
Sin #2: Failing to Communicate the “Who, What, When, Where and Why”
When implementing a new program, clearly communicate expectations, guidelines, direction and target to each team member.
Strategically outline objectives and outcomes from the get-go to avoid confusion and upset down the road. If being a broken record gets the message across, keep on playing.
Sin #3: Using Threats, Intimidation and Scare Tactics to Push Through Improvements
An organization is only as strong as its weakest link. The program will only succeed with the full support of all stakeholders — from senior management to entry-level workers.
Demonstrate the benefit of the improvement to each individual — help them understand how it will save them time, make their job easier, eliminate problems, etc.
Sin #4: Assuming Middle Management Will Readily Accept the Program
Educating middle managers is the most crucial first step to improving operations.
To combat complacency, senior management must identify strategies to inspire middle managers to develop a strong interest in performance management. Again, this gets back to answering the “What’s in it for me?” question.
Middle managers must genuinely believe the program will achieve results to effectively communicate its value to their teams. Learn more about how to motivate employees to become stakeholders on an earlier blog post.
Sin #5: Putting Process Over Purpose
Even the best-intentioned and most organized improvement systems fail if management loses sight of the objectives.
Managers must focus on the end game to successfully implement the process. Above all, performance management is a tool to achieve results and does not veto strategic business and operational activities.
Sin #6: Assuming Employees are Prepared and Performance Expectations Are Understood
Employee skills and techniques must be honed and perfected before “getting in the drivers seat.”
Simply spending a week or two explaining the surface functions to an employee will not achieve the same results as building a solid foundation of mutually understood expectations.
Consistently train, monitor and mentor employees to ensure they have the skills and support they need and understand what is expected.
Sin #7: Providing Lukewarm Support to Performance Management
If a company is not prepared or willing to commit the necessary time or effort to a performance management program, the endeavor should be halted.
Half-hearted efforts will ultimately waste time and achieve nothing. As they say, either “go big or go home.”
Good intentions and hard work cannot compensate for built-in performance management flaws. Hence, the trick is to keep objectives in view, regularly measure and report on the organization’s progress and make tailored adjustments where necessary.
Let us help you right these performance management sins! Learn more at FTPConsulting.com.
What performance management sins have you righted? Have you made the sins mentioned above? If so, let us know in the comments below!