February 6th, 2020

Performance Management: A Good Thing for Employers, a Great Thing for Employees

Throw around words like “outsourcing” or “automation” at work, and you’re likely to make employees nervous. That’s understandable — these terms tend to conjure up images of pink slips falling en masse over a sea of empty desks as layoffs decimate the office your staff once called their workplace. Who wants that? Probably no one. But here’s the thing: those fears are almost completely unfounded.

Outsourcing works best when you use it to take care of functions that your in-house employees don’t want to spend the brunt of their workdays doing — like organizing and cross-referencing HR reports. Ditto for automation, which can be an incredibly useful way to simplify tasks that are necessary but normally frustrating. Performance management is one perfect example of an area where both outsourcing and automation make life easier for you and your employees. Not convinced? That’s okay — we came prepared to explain.

What is Performance Management, and Why Does it Matter?

First things first: before we show you how outsourcing HR and automation can improve your approach to performance management, we need to make sure you understand its role in your workplace. That’s easier said than done though, since performance management is an umbrella term that covers numerous different HR tasks. Typically, however, it includes the following:

  • Setting clear metrics for employee performance
  • Establishing plans for employees to meet performance expectations
  • Tracking employee performance (which should include regular check-ins and meetings)
  • Providing incentives and positive feedback for strong performance
  • Constructively addressing inadequate performance
  • Conducting regular performance reviews and summaries
  • Continuing to create conditions that support ideal performance across the workplace

It turns out that these things really matter to employees. In fact, nearly 70% of employees polled said they would work harder if they felt like their efforts were better recognized. Furthermore, 92% said that even negative feedback could be effective at improving their performance as long as it was delivered in an appropriate way. That begs the question: why don’t more workplaces make performance management a priority?

One of the biggest challenges with performance management is establishing the infrastructure to keep it all going. It takes time to draw up guidelines and policies for measuring performance, not to mention making sure they’re enforced consistently. As such, many business owners find it easy to grasp the importance of the above tasks, but far fewer actually have the time and other resources required to implement them properly.

Cost-Effective Ways to Improve Performance Management in Your Office

Fortunately, there are plenty of strategies that enterprising business owners can employ to enhance their approach to performance management. Some of these are simple adjustments that can easily be made to workplace culture, while others are achievable through specific tools and techniques.

Give More Feedback Faster

Most companies provide annual performance reviews, but the data shows that usually isn’t good enough. In fact, 96% of employees surveyed in Officevibe’s 2020 Global State of Employee Engagement expressed a desire to receive feedback on a much more regular basis. As author Daniel Pink puts it, “there’s no way to get better at something you only hear about once a year.”

Furthermore, the Harvard Business Review claims that feedback provided in the recent aftermath of an event is given much greater weight than feedback provided at a later date because of what they call distance bias: the closer something is to us in space or time, the more value we assign to it. In other words: your performance management will be much more effective if you make it frequent and swift.

Consider Peer Reviews

Having your employees provide feedback to each other does more than just paint a more comprehensive picture of how they’re meeting their goals; it also improves workplace communication and increases motivation.

A study from Badgeville and Make Their Day! showed that 76% of employees were highly motivated by feedback from their peers. This means leaders who don’t have time to provide constant feedback by themselves can still give employees what they want by growing a culture of feedback in the workplace. However, it’s important to make sure that you put specific protocols in place for peer reviews so that they’re always conducted appropriately.

Get Outside Help with Performance Management Solutions

At Obsidian, our goal is to provide powerful and comprehensive HR solutions to our clients. To that end, we’ve made ourselves capable of managing all paperwork, processes, and reporting for the businesses who choose to work with us.

In addition to providing HR training and guidance so that you and your senior management can set effective performance management standards, we use our own unique software called iSolved to keep track of all your HR information with a single, user-friendly platform. iSolved creates master records for each employee that include HR data as well as information pertaining to time, payroll, and benefits.

One of iSolved’s best features is the ability to coordinate peer reviews and other performance management tasks. Once you or another authorized party puts new information into the platform, it updates all relevant records — ensuring that data is always organized and never lost. Hiring us to help out with the policies you don’t have time to draw up yourself and using our tools to automate their implementation are both excellent ways to save time that you and the rest of your organization’s leaders should be using to focus on the work you actually want to do.

Everyone Benefits from Streamlined Performance Management

Don’t be afraid to embrace next generations to your current business challenges — especially when it comes to something as important as performance management.

Letting an experienced service provider like Obsidian HR guide your management and help set up your policies is an excellent way to save time while creating effective and lasting tools for your company and managing it all through iSolved makes using those tools a breeze.

Contact us today and find out how we can help you achieve optimal performance management for your business.

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