Improving employee performance doesn’t have to be difficult. Taking these basic steps will guarantee improved employee performance:
- Ditch traditional performance evaluations. They simply don’t work. Too much fear and a lack of information results in an uneasy process for both manager and employee.
- Separate performance discussions from compensation issues. It clouds the conversation. In many cases, the employee couldn’t care less about the evaluation; they just want to know if they’re getting the raise.
- Establish benchmarks. How would employees answer these two questions: 1) What’s the most important thing you do every day?; and 2) How would you know you were doing well without having to be told or without having to ask? Until you can have this conversation, any rating system is a waste of time.
- Have a performance discussion at least every 90 days. Make sure the employee has a game plan for the next 90-day period. See the Form of the Month, 90-Day Game Plan Worksheet.
- Ask people what they’ve gotten done — not what they’re doing. Performance is about results. In the end, that’s all that matters. Then constantly find out how they can get those results more efficiently and with greater quality.
- Finally, the time to deal with poor performance is now. Don’t waste time on your bottom 10% of employees. Chances are that they should have been terminated already. Focus on making your best employees even better and then share their best practices with everyone else.
In conclusion, most small and mid-sized companies do a poor job of analyzing, benchmarking, evaluating, and reporting performance. Any effort you make toward this end will be guaranteed to improve your bottom line. HR That Works users should see the Training Modules on Performance Management Improvement and Discipline and Termination.