Performance Management has been part of many workplace discussions for several years now. But many people—managers and employees alike—still don’t understand what it is and how it can help everyone. At its most basic, performance management is all about clarity: clear expectations about both performance and on-the-job conduct or behavior. And while it can take time and effort to set up a performance management program, there are some things managers and employees can incorporate into their regular work activities. Here are a few things that each can do.
- Remember that while performance management is ongoing, you need to start by setting clear expectations and standards.
- Begin by listing the key responsibilities of the job and then ask yourself if both you and your employee have a clear picture of what success looks like for each of the responsibilities. If you don’t, you will need to develop measurable standards.
- Measurement is crucial. Be sure to include at least one of the following types of measures: quantity, quality, time, and cost. And often, you need to involve employees to develop measures.Provide regular feedback to employees about any areas where standards aren’t being met.
- Provide positive feedback when work is done well.
- Don’t forget to include standards for how the work gets done—the conduct and behavioron the job. Performance management provides standards for both how and what (the job responsibilities). Here’s are two examples of conduct standards that can help create a positive and productive work environment:
- “Communicates in ways that are consistently respectful.”
- “Treats others fairly and respectfully”
- Keep track of your accomplishments and let your manager know how you are doing in meeting standards.
- Share you thinking with your manager about how a certain responsibility can best be measured.
- If you are having trouble meeting a particular standard, ask for help. Don’t wait for your managers to come to you.
And everyone needs to remember that performance and conduct standards apply to work and behavior that vary little from month to month and year to year. If you’re looking for a way to specify and measure projects and one-time activities, you can write a SMART objective (click here to download a free PDF on SMART objectives).