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19th Sep, 2023

Olivia Maguire
Olivia Maguire
Job Title
Content Marketing Lead

Performance management is a continuous process that involves planning work and setting expectations, monitoring performance, developing an employee’s capacity to perform, rating performance, and rewarding success. The process starts with setting goals and ends with a performance review, with further goals being set based on the outcomes of the review, thus resulting in an ongoing cycle of performance management.

As a manager, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your team understands their roles, the expectations you have of them, and the goals they are working towards. You are also responsible for providing feedback and coaching to help your team members improve their performance and achieve their full potential.

The importance of performance management cannot be overstated. A 2022 study by Willis Tower Watson found that organisations that are effectively using performance management programmes are one and a half times more likely to outperform their competitors financially, and one and a quarter times more likely to see an increase in employee productivity.

It is crucial for maintaining high levels of productivity, improving employee morale and engagement, futureproofing your workforce through identifying strengths and weaknesses within the team, and aligning individual goals with those of the wider business. Without effective performance management, teams can become directionless, demotivated, and unproductive.

So how can you ensure effective performance management and unlock the potential within your team? Here are some strategies:

Set clear expectations

Make sure each team member knows exactly what is expected of them at all times. This includes understanding their role within the team, the tasks they are responsible for, and how their performance will be measured. When someone knows what is expected of them, it provides them with a sense of purpose and direction, and results in higher levels of engagement.

This strategy should be adopted from the very start of the hiring process. Ensure that job descriptions are accurate and reflective of the role, otherwise you may be left with disengaged and confused employees and a poor retention rate.

Provide regular feedback

Don’t wait for an annual review to provide feedback. Regular feedback helps your team members understand how they are performing and what they can do to improve. Schedule regular one-to-ones to keep track of goals and targets and provide real-time constructive feedback as and when necessary.

Develop your team’s skills

Identify any skills gaps within your team and provide training or development opportunities to fill them. This not only improves performance but also helps to motivate your team.

This is also essential for succession planning and team agility - by identifying employees’ key skills and developing new ones, you will be better equipped in the face of employee shortages, absences, resignations, or long-term leave.

Recognise and reward good performance

Recognition for a job well done can be a powerful motivator. This doesn’t always have to be financial - a simple ‘thank you’ or public recognition can be just as effective. When employees are rewarded for their efforts, they are more likely to be loyal to their employer and feel a greater sense of pride in their work.

Address performance issues promptly

If a team member is underperforming, it’s important to address this as soon as possible. First, have a conversation with them to ascertain if there are any extenuating circumstances that are causing a dip in performance and speak with your HR team if you are unsure of how to approach this. Provide support and coaching to help them improve and monitor their performance to make sure it is helping.

Performance management is not just a box-ticking exercise - it’s a key part of your role as a manager. By following these strategies, you can unlock the potential within your team and drive success for your organisation.

If you are looking to hire a talented professional to join your team, get in touch with one of our specialist consultants today.