PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT DONE RIGHT
Performance management is no simple subject. Trend after trend emerges, trying to solve the age-old question of how we effectively and efficiently manage our team, complete our projects, and satisfy our
stakeholders. When a performance management system isn’t set up and managed correctly, it will backfire. Instead of moving the company forward, we run the very real risk of unmotivated, uninterested, burnt-out employees.
Although many have tried, no one has been able to come up with
an all-encompassing solution to Performance Management. Why is this so difficult? We have to realize that Performance management isn’t and can’t just be a periodic performance review meeting, with each employee, to discuss their performance. It needs to address the company’s overall strategy from the ground up. At BridgePort Digital, we have developed
and tested a metric based strategy that is taking the world by storm.
Let’s explain. The number of “Knowledge Worker” employees keeps growing. 60% of the US workforce are knowledge workers, up 20% since the 1970s. What makes someone a knowledge worker? An employee is classified as a knowledge worker the employee knows more about his specialty than his superiors. These workers don’t produce a material object, they use their experience and expertise to produce decisions.
Until now, management has been making all the decisions and assigning the tasks to their employees. This is a problem because not only is the management not as knowledgeable and qualified to make these decisions, they also create an environment where the employee is unmotivated, not as invested, and doesn’t want to risk potential consequences for trying to point out issues when they see something
that won’t work or can be done in a better fashion.
Employers usually base performance reviews on the employees’ activities and behaviors instead of on what they really should be basing it on; their ideas and decisions. An employer has to create a safe, supportive, and trusting atmosphere for their employees. This environment will be conducive to encouraging ideas, creativity, and pride in their employees. They will then have employees that are more dedicated and driven, working together to accomplish the company's goals effectively.
Decisions we make are based on the information we currently know. Hence, if we learn more or things change, our decisions should adjust. This is the true definition of strategy. It’s about making decisions,
tweaking them when necessary, and accomplishing the overall company goal and objective.
Companies need to create flexible, agile, and transparent approaches to setting their goals. Rigid performance review systems only encourage stagnation and a hesitancy to explore better, more efficient options. Employing methodologies that are designed to recognize assumptions that help to constrain the goal, such as Agile Methodology, has been proven to encourage innovation. It is critical for companies to prioritize this type of research into all assumptions, classifying them based on importance. The assumptions that are found to have little importance or impact should, then, be discarded saving precious resources, time, money, and man power. Assumptions should be objective, with no individual biases, and/or actions.
Companies utilizing agile methods are proven to have a three-fold higher level of innovation. This is because companies that are Agile, encourage employees to constantly challenge assumptions and evaluate outcomes frequently. Shifting the focus of performance management from the management of employee behavior to the improvement of employee decision-making, increases efficiency and overall productivity.