How often do we stand back and think about the value of applying effective performance management practices – especially the value to the business? Take a look at this piece of research:
ProudfootConsultings (www.proudfootconsulting.com) annual Productivity Survey for 2007 shows that in the UK 33.3% of the time spent in work is unproductive. Taking into account that they estimate that the optimum ‘labour utilisation’ time is considered to be 85% this means that UK businesses are wasting just over 18% of working hours.
Here’s what they say about the reason
‘Whatever business you’re in, pay particular attention to the calibre and capabilities of those who directly supervise frontline workers. Poor worker supervision has always been a prominent reason for wasted working time in our Business Reviews and in the last two years has risen to become the dominant factor’
That’s just short of a day a week, then, lost to poor supervision or (in my mind the same thing) effective performance management
Before we explore this issue further I should point out that this report is based on research of large businesses (with turnover in excess of £100m). Clearly, the performance management of staff in a smaller organisation can be very different. For example, there’s less likelihood of there being a long ‘chain of command’ and it’s clearly more difficult for staff members in a small enterprise to be unproductive, at least intentionally. However I’d say it’s worth all organisations, whatever the size, periodically taking a critical look at how they undertake performance management
Performance Management: Assessing your current practices
Here are a few questions you can use to assess your performance management practices (based on my model of effective performance management):
1. Are your staff crystal clear on what’s expected of them? Have you described and agreed what good performance looks like for their job? Are these agreed descriptions written as performance standards or objectives?
2. Do you monitor your staff’s actual performance against the standards or objectives on an ongoing basis? Are your staff involved in monitoring their own performance?
3. Do you and your staff review together their performance on a regular basis (every 3 months is standard good practice)? Do you give them objective, evidence- based feedback? Do you agree on areas of outstanding performance and how these can be built upon? Do you identify and agree any areas of improvement?
4. Do you discuss your staff’s job satisfaction with them so that you can, together, develop ways to maintain or enhance their satisfaction?
Do you now feel like having a lie down? I do know this all sounds like an awful lot of work and it certainly does take some time commitment to undertake effective performance management. However research does demonstrate again and again that not only does effective performance management positively impact productivity and business performance but it also positively impacts your staff’s job satisfaction. A win for the business, a win for your staff and not nearly as hard as it sounds with the right tools and techniques
Do the managers in your business need help in developing effective performance management skills? Do they have the tools and techniques they need for effective performance management? Why not take take a look at my 10 Minute Management Toolkit video training series. You can read the details and find out how to watch preview videos HERE
Joan Henshaw is the author and presenter of the video management training series ‘The 10 Minute Management Toolkit’ – the flexible, cost effective and time effective way to help managers learn how to motivate their staff to high performance. Want to learn more about how to motivate staff to high performance? Read about the videos and how to access your trial video session HERE