Performance Management

Performance management is an in-depth process in which employees and their managers work together to plan and review the employee’s work objectives. The overall career of a professional relies heavily on performance management. Therefore, the employee and his or her manager with manage the objectives of one’s performance to ensure consistency and improvement in all aspects of the employee’s career with the company.

Performance Management Cycle

Performance management is an ongoing process of planning, monitoring, and reviewing employee performance.

Planning

As a manager, you’ll want to review the employee’s job description to determine whether or not the work being done by the employee is reflective of the description. If the employee has taken on additional responsibilities, you’ll want to ensure that the job description is updated to reflect those additional tasks.

You’ll also want to look at the overall organization’s goals and objectives to ensure that such goals are met when the employee is performing the job. As a manager, you’ll want to identify three to five objectives for the employee to achieve in the following year. When determining the objectives for the employee, you’ll want to work with the employee to come up with such objectives. Ensure that the objectives can be realistically achieved. Also, you’ll want to create objectives that aren’t far beyond what the job description. Therefore, if you are creating objectives that should be completed by someone at a much higher level, then this probably wouldn’t be the best idea for you or your employee. Remember that your employee’s performance is a reflection of you as a manager.

Monitoring

As a manager, you need to ensure that you periodically monitor the ongoing progress of the employee so that he or she can continue working to attain the goals and objectives. When monitoring your employee, you want to take a look at the tasks your employee does on a daily basis, especially if those tasks are beyond what is expected of the job.

While monitoring should be done periodically, it doesn’t need to be done too much. You don’t want your employee feeling as though you are following up too much on his or her progress. Therefore, it’s probably best to have weekly one-on-ones to find out where your employee is with attaining such goals and objectives, and any other important items that need to be discussed.

Reviewing

The review will take place during the performance appraisal, which is generally done at the end of the year. This is a time when you will meet with your direct report to discuss his or her accomplishments throughout the year, and what is to be expected in the coming year, while also coming up with new objectives and goals for the next year. You’ll then evaluate your employee’s performance, and ask the employee to in turn document what he or she has achieved in the past year. Be sure to provide feedback for the performance. This is also a time to provide the employee with constructive criticism with regard to areas of improvement, further training, and potential promotion.

Coaching Performance

The act of coaching involves providing ongoing feedback to your employees, which can be both positive and constructive. Coaching should entail providing direction, guidance, and support as your employees work to achieve their goals and objectives while also working toward a potential promotion. As previously noted, you’ll want to have meetings with your employees on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to monitor their performance. These meetings will also involve your employees being open and honest with you regarding their position in the company, and what their plans are for the future.

Giving Constructive Feedback

Again, you’ll want to provide your employees with constructive feedback so that they remain on the right track to meeting all goals and objectives and potentially being promoted by year’s end. You can even document the constructive feedback that you plan on giving to your employees so that they are well aware of what is expected of them. Since constructive criticism can sometimes be met with hesitance, you’ll want to remain calm during this time. When meeting one-on-one with one of your employees, advise the employee that you simply want to help him do his best so that he can succeed professionally. You’ll also want to identify the negative impact his performance and behavior has on the company. Be sure to allow him to provide his own explanation as to why his performance is suffering. Provide suggestions for improvement. Allow the conversation to flow so that you both can provide feedback to one another and work on a plan for improvement.

Performance Assessment Form

The performance assessment form helps managers document an employee’s performance. Such forms are quite common in all organizations. The form itself should provide instructions on how to complete it, what information should be included in it, and how specific it should be. The form should document the performance objectives that should have been achieved in the past year, the job description itself, and objectives and goals to be achieved the following year. The form will then be given to the employee who can respond by providing his or her feedback, even if the feedback disagrees with the performance assessment.

Performance Appraisal

Performance appraisals, also referred to as annual reviews, assist in determining how to allocate funds that go toward bonuses and raises. Therefore, the performance assessment form itself is one of the most important documents that will be heavily relied on when determining the amount of compensation to be awarded to the employee. The appraisal itself will give employees a much greater sense as to how they are performing, since the numbers themselves will illustrate as such.

Appeals Process

If the employee disagrees with the feedback provided on the performance review form, then he or she can appeal. Generally, companies provide a grading or numbering system. If the employee disagrees with the overall grade or number, then he or she will usually appeal to have upper management intervene and review the appeal. At times, Human Resources may get involved to ensure that the appeals process runs smoothly.

Performance Management for Higher-Level Executives

Many organizations have a separate performance management process for higher-level executives. Such executives still need performance reviews as feedback will help them perform better. Sometimes the performance review is done by other high-level executives in a peer-review type of process. Other times, the board of directors will be responsible for such a review. Some companies even involve an HR Committee, Executive Committee, or a special committee to help engage in a performance review. When engaging in the review, the executive should know who will be conducting a review so that he or she can provide his own feedback on what he has accomplished in the past year, as well as come up with new goals.

Advantages of Performance Management

  • Employees and managers can regularly discuss an employee’s objectives, goals, and performance to help him or her improve on a professional level
  • Performance management can help improve relationships between manager and employees
  • It can also help retain employees as they will be happy to receive both positive feedback and constructive criticism in terms of performance
  • Employees and their managers understand the process for how performance appraisals are completed
  • Employees will be aware of what their managers expect of them

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