How do you use your performance management program?

One benefit of doing consulting work is that you get to see a lot of different organizations, at different stages of maturity, from outside. One thing that only interest me in the organization is various ways organizations go on to motivate and improve performance of its employees. Nascent companies use many unstructured methods developing feeling of entrepreneurship and collaboration. Mature companies use structured methods to develop honor and specialization. A good motivation program is very intricately involved with a good performance management system. There are three pillars to a good performance management program:

1. Goal Management – Biggest complaint that the employees have regarding performance evaluation is that they are not clear on what is expected out of them by the management and also how their efforts are contributing to the success of the organization. Employees show a lot of commitment and perform exceptionally well when goals and criteria of evaluation are made clear to them. Hence clear goals that align with overall company objectives is one of the most important contributor to employees performance,

2. Development – Compensation is a small part of overall employee motivation and satisfaction. Improvement of critical skills, ability to learn from industry finest and career progression are found to be most important factors for employee motivation. Hence, companies should make sure to utilize all available development sources such as formal learning, on job training, rotational and global assignment etc to develop employees competencies.

3. Performance Review – All said and done, it is important to track how all these efforts have finally paid off by performing annual or semi annual evaluation. Evaluation can provide two important set of information. It can let you know if your staff is adequately skilled to perform the challenges faced by your department and it also let you know the effectiveness of the various programs you have put in place for the above two areas. Hence not only evaluate your employees but evaluate yourself too. Just following industry best practices might not be enough because every business is different.

So next time you implement a performance management program, keep these three pillars in mind,

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Saurav Khandelwal is a solution architect who is working every day to simplify business processes in HR and Technology for large multinational organization. Saurav has led cross functional teams and border less initiatives at PNC Financials, General Motors, Hannaford Brothers and Covidien PLC. View Sauravs‘ profile at http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=47931968

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