Looking at only one or two statistics from a company’s performance evaluation is dangerously deceiving. You often see this in companies with high levels of production, well studied and verified, but low levels in other areas, such as employee satisfaction or retention.
One technique of management many managers misunderstand is performance management. They think of it as an occasional tool to pull out of the toolbox when things aren’t going well. However, that misses the point of the second word of the title, ‘management’.
It would be great if all companies could afford a performance manager. However, the reality is many smaller companies cannot pay the expense, and managers evaluate their departments.
Performance Management Should Be A Consistent Part Of A Company’s Culture
Performance management is or should be, an ongoing process. Your managers should be conducting regular surveys of their staff to make sure they are on track with their peers and with the overall goals of the company.
Most managers, if tasked to do this, would begin by looking at the numbers of their output. If the numbers are right, then they decide productivity is great, and there is nothing to change.
While numbers are revealing, they still don’t tell you everything going on inside a business. Numbers don’t tell you about the culture inside your company, and they don’t tell you about the employee engagement, business processes, mistakes, or positives occurring every day.
Employees Know Stuff, And A Lot Of It
To fully understand the performance of a company or department, you should not only be looking at the easily quantifiable output but also at the internal mechanisms creating the output.
First, survey the employees and learn what they think about how the company is operated. If the answer is anything other than ‘excellent!’ (yes, with an exclamation point) there is room for improvement.
In addition to looking for areas of improvement, also look for areas where operations are at their most efficient level. You’ll want to duplicate success throughout the company.
Remain consistent in your observations. Don’t create key performance indicators (KPIs) and change them while your survey is occurring. After conducting a study, you realize a KPI should be changed, then create or modify the KPI before the next survey period.
The only way to learn how to help employees do better is to determine how they are doing their day-to-day jobs. They are the ones who probably will lead you to your next innovative steps within your company.
However, you are never going to learn about it if you don’t get out and learn what they know. They probably have some ideas about ways you could save money, how their day could be streamlined so they could get more done, and how you could change things within the company overall to make it a more pleasant place to work.
Equal Parts Consulting believes in the efficacy of consistent performance management. We are a San Diego County-based HR company, and we have helped numerous companies improve their efficiency.