April 2, 2018

The 3-Step Formula for Performance Management Success

Business Man

Performance management can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. You just have to follow the right formula:

1. Define Goals

According to a 2016 Gallup report, only 40 percent of millennial employees feel strongly connected to their company’s mission. This disconnect is sure to cause disengagement and a lack of motivation.

The first step of successful performance management is to combat this disconnect by setting clearly defined goals for your team members. These goals must align with the wider mission and vision of the organization, as this alignment will create a connection between what your individual team members are working on and where the company is heading.

The keys to setting an attainable goal are to make sure it is specific, it is measurable, and it has a clear objective that will both help the employee grow and help the entire team move forward. Using the SMART method is the easiest way to make sure goals are clearly defined and achievable. A SMART goal is one that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-sensitive. An example might look like this:

“Within the next quarter, I’d like to see you take leadership on the latest project by assigning tasks to team members and ensuring each assignment and the project as a whole meet all deadlines.”

2. Check in Regularly

Once an employees’ goals are defined, it is time to get to work. In order to keep employees on track, it is best to provide regular, ongoing feedback. This will give you a window into the employee’s progress, not to mention the chance to head off issues before they derail entire projects.

Feedback can come in the form of accolades or constructive criticism, depending on what is relevant to your employee’s performance. The feedback you give should also be aligned with some overarching company value. Examples include:

– Accountability
– Leadership
– Communication
– Transparency
– Pursuit of Excellence
– Efficiency
– Harmony
– Attentiveness

These values help lead employees in the right direction to achieving their ultimate objective, and they ensure continued alignment between individual employees and the overall organization.

3. Conduct Reviews

The final step of the performance management process is a formal employee review. These reviews supplement the feedback given in between each appraisal. Having a record of the ongoing feedback dialogue between employee and manager gives all parties involved the chance to look back at the progress made and the obstacles overcome between each review.

Each review should start the process all over again. Together, employee and manager should reflect on goals both accomplished and not. They should consider the results the employee has achieved so far, and they should collaborate on setting new, clearly defined goals to guide the employee between this review and the next one.

A version of this article originally appeared on the iRevü blog.

Michael Heller is the CEO and founder of iRevü.

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Michael Heller has 20+ years of experience in strategic human resources, talent management, and technology consulting. As an HR executive at Washington Consulting, Digital Management, and Deltek, Michael led teams to develop innovative human capital management programs and initiatives. Previously, Michael held a variety of positions at American Management Systems and Booz Allen Hamilton where he executed on talent acquisition, total rewards, performance management, strategic HR partnerships, and philanthropy strategies. Michael serves the community as a board member of Teardrops to Rainbows, an organization dedicated to supporting the families of children with cancer. Michael has a master's degree in human resources from Georgetown University and earned his bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Connecticut. Michael resides in Gaithersburg, Maryland, with his wife and daughter. He enjoys cooking and college basketball.