3 Performance Management Basics for Managers

Performance Management Basics

Do Not Underestimate the Performance Management Basics
Getting the performance management basics right matters.  Unfortunately, too many managers struggle to follow the tenets of effective performance management.

Employee Expectations Have Shifted
To add to the challenge, old school performance management basics regarding processes and performance reviews are struggling to align with today’s fast moving organizations and employees who have different expectations.

  • For example, my old employer, Accenture, is replacing annual evaluations and rankings with more timely and personalized feedback for all employees.
  • The same can be said of companies like GE, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Adobe and the GAP.

Both Managers and Employees Want Something Better
It is clear that both employees and managers want something better.  Our annual Best Places to Work employee engagement surveys find that less than 50 percent of employees report their managers provide relevant and valuable input, and most managers we interview find the performance review process to be a monumental waste of time.

The Five Drivers of Performance Management Basics
But performance reviews are designed to do five important performance management basics that are directly correlated to higher performance and greater levels of employee engagement:

  1. Monitor performance
  2. Create accountability
  3. Develop skills and careers
  4. Reward high performance
  5. Act upon substandard performance

The Five Drivers Are Difficult to Accomplish without a Performance Management Process
While we can appreciate managers wanting to reduce administrative overhead and employees wanting a better way to receive feedback, we think that companies who ditch performance reviews will struggle across the five performance management basics listed above.

More specifically, we believe that managers will struggle to provide clear, timely and accurate performance feedback that they need to lead their teams to higher levels of performance and employee engagement.

Three Questions that Must Be Answered with or without Performance Reviews
Regardless of whether you use annual performance reviews or not, managers and employees must be able to measure progress, allocate resources and adjust strategies and tactics accordingly.  A first step in effective performance management basics is to make sure managers and employees can answer three questions related to the basics of basics of effective performance management:

  1. Do your team members know what you expect of them and how their performance is measured?
  2. How is excellence rewarded?
  3. How are under-performers handled?

Three Performance Management Basics for Managers
The cartoon characters above are clearly at odds. To extract the best performance from your team there are a few performance management basics from decades of performance management training that must be followed:

1.  Set Clear Performance Performance Expectations
There should be no confusion about the standards of success and failure for each and every job.  To get it right, make sure that the success metrics are relevant, consistent, fair, just possible, accurate and timely.  To get this right, have people design their metrics with you.

2.  Ensure Transparent Performance Measures
Goals and success metrics for performance should be visible to all.  Transparent objectives and performance metrics increase awareness and accountability while allowing everyone to assess progress against important initiatives and learn from what is working and what is not working.

3.  Establish Meaningful Rewards and Consequences Upfront
In high performance cultures, superior performance gets superior rewards; inferior performance gets consequences.  Done right, effective rewards and consequences motivate people to move toward the things (actions, behaviors, assumptions) you want and away from things you do not want.

This last “basic” regarding negative consequences is perhaps the hardest for managers to follow when they have a poor performer on their team.  It is difficult for someone who wants to be “nice” to enforce consequences and to give negative feedback. But you must learn to do so if you want to keep your high performers motivated and engaged.

The Bottom Line
When it comes to the performance management basics, be supportive, be encouraging and be honest. If someone is not measuring up, they will eventually drag down the entire team. It is your responsibility to require improvement or move them on in a reasonable time period.

To learn more about performance management basics for managers, download 3 Must-Have Ingredients of High Performing Teams for New Managers

Comments are closed.

The refreshing thing about LSA is that they focus on understanding our business situation and helping me succeed instead of selling a product. With over 150 experts, they are an invaluable resource that helps me deliver higher quality results faster. I recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their workforce.

Stacie Rodgers
VP of Human Resources

Cutera

We consider LSA Global our outsourced learning and development partner. We worked closely with LSA to customize a management development program to meet our growing business needs. I would highly recommend LSA to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions.

Terri Wright-Scheer
Vice President Human Resources

In the Next Generation Management Development courses, I was trained with skills and tools that have made me and my team more productive, motivated, and successful at communicating with other departments.

 

Kevin Ashman
Firmware Engineering Supervisor

In my years working with LSA, it seems like I’ve had a personal consultant at my fingertips to help me identify just the right solution to satisfy our needs. The entire LSA team has become a trusted friend of Actel — assuring we provide state-of-the-art learning to meet our complex, high-tech business and people needs.

Linda Mitchell
Training Manager

I have worked with other training companies and found it to be more of a seller/buyer relationship than one of matching the right expertise to our business issues. That’s what LSA does – ask the hard questions, listen, and understand our business needs. We receive the benefit of their expertise from assistance with personal development plans to enhancing team performance, to looking at enterprise-wide challenges. It’s all about helping our business succeed as we grow. Right now, LSA is providing great ideas, a fresh approach, and valuable guidance as we develop our management team and accelerate our client relationship management results.

Kristin Westland-Kaune
Director, Team Development

We recently contacted LSA Global to assist us with a unique training request. We gave LSA a very short deadline and LSA custom designed a training program to meet our exact requirements within the limited time allotted to them. We found their facilitator to be well versed in the subject matter and very credible; the design provided practical and valuable information to our team of managers. I highly recommend LSA Global, particularly in the area of management training.

Julaine K. Souza
Senior Vice President

Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.

Farhat Ali
President and Chief Executive Office

Fujitsu

Our company engaged LSA to do a specialized “train the trainer” program, and the consultant’s performance outdid our exceptionally high standards for such a program. Very crucial to the success of this program was the work done upfront to discuss our needs and to interview key members of our organization so that the program specifically met our goals. Our facilitators continue to comment on the success of the program. Thanks also for the follow-up.

Frank Abbott
Chief Financial Officer

We recently partnered with LSA Global to offer our Supervisors and Managers a customized two-day management training program. Everyone who attended said it was by far the best management training program they had ever attended. The content was rich and highly interactive. The case studies were relevant. Each participant walked away from the training much better equipped to lead their teams.

Jeff Coon
Director of Human Resources

For our go to training outsourcing partner, LSA provides exactly what we want. As always, they deliver outstanding work!

Elizabeth Siebert
Director, Organizational Excellence & Development

Intuit

LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped me elevate my presentation skills to the next level. I now have a much greater self-awareness of my presentation skills and can leverage off of my strengths while working to improve upon other areas. I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone for whom business presentations are an integral part of their job.

Jim Elliott
Senior Marketing Manager

Samsung

We value our relationship with LSA Global. We came to LSA because we wanted to improve overall behavioral based interviewing capabilities of our managers to increase the probability of both hiring top talent and future leaders. LSA designed a highly customized solution for our business and culture. We are currently rolling out this solution to our leaders. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource.

Rae Phillips
HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR

Over the years, both at 3Com and now at Redback, I’ve found LSA Global to be a valuable resource. The recent compliance program that they delivered for Redback’s executive and management team was the right solution, of the highest of quality, and customized to our business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA to any company looking for top quality solutions.

Gina Fulton
Vice President of Human Resources

LSA custom designed a Management Development program that is absolutely “on target” for our technical managers. Their facilitator has done a superb job delivering the material in a way that is fast paced, highly interactive, and fun. She presents practical solutions to the people situations that our managers face every day. I regard LSA as an excellent partner that understands our business needs and a virtual member of our HR department.

Judith Onton
Vice President Human Resources

I am very impressed with the quality of work and talent. LSA did a great job of listening to my needs and providing the exact management training program expertise I needed to get the job done.

Don Pryor
Director, Business Planning & Analysis

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Toolkits

Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.

More

Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.

More

Whitepapers

Whitepapers

Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.

More

Methodology

Methodologies

First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.

More

Blogs

Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.

More

Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.

More