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Nurturing your top performers

nurtureSince the onset of the recent recession, many employees have faced pay freezes, employee benefits have been cut and, of course, there have been redundancies. As a result, business leaders have had to review how they reward the workforces that have kept their company afloat, with many forward-thinking managers investing in performance management.

Although some people mistakenly believe performance management simply involves annual personnel appraisals, the fact is that it incorporates many other important, broader elements. Understanding an individual’s current skills and their future development aspirations are key to businesses achieving their objectives – and ultimately their survival!

What should an effective performance strategy look like?

An effective performance management strategy should look beyond the short-term goals and issues facing the business and embrace the long-term, e.g. where it sees the business developing or whether there are talents within the business which can be nurtured. Different behaviours and personalities across the organisation would need to be analysed, with a focus on encouraging successful working relationships to improve performance across the organisation.

Why performance management?

The benefits to employees of engaging in a performance management programme are clear.  It helps them understand the goals they are working towards and, in the process, it: aligns focus; improves morale; increases motivation; boosts productivity; and positively impacts on customer satisfaction.

The importance of aligning business and personal objectives

Business objectives are the central element of performance management as they can be used to inform both team and personal objectives. Linking personal goals to business objectives enables employees to understand their roles in achieving both. In addition, an individual who knows they have the support of their company will offer much more than someone who doesn't.

The importance of line managers in performance management

Line managers play a crucial role in performance management as they communicate information across the business. A line manager’s acceptance and positive behaviour towards goals and processes is powerful, so having them on board is vital. Regular meetings and appraisal sessions between employees and line managers are also important because they offer opportunities for employees to be recognised for their achievements, and to discuss any concerns regarding personal development or milestones.

The role of technology

There are now many types of technologies which can support performance management activities in organisations by tracking appraisal meetings, objectives, agreements and development plans. The performance management module of Ceridian’s HRevolution product, for instance, can provide employers with the tools necessary to design their own competency framework to understand where training is required.

Performance management should be viewed as both a learning and development tool and as an enabler to business success. It’s clear that the difficult economic climate will force businesses to continue to evaluate where best to spend their money. However, if we consider that performance management has the ability to impact on the bottom line positively, then companies should seriously consider it. 

  • 1st October 2010
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