Become a ‘best-place-to-work’ through performance management

Michael Tucker
VP, HR, Management Systems
Contact (813) 315-3945
tonyTony Chiviles
Contact (440) 238-8182

“Companies that are successful are those companies that are transparent,” says Michael Tucker, PHR, vice president of HR Management Systems at PayBridge.

You want your employees to be empowered to speak their mind and feel like they are on the same page as management. Creating the kind of culture where people love coming to work, however, is sometimes easier said than done.

One way to help achieve that culture is through performance management.

Performance management is a transparent tool where organizational objectives and performance goals are set for employees companywide, and the employees have a say in the evaluation process. Tucker says companies that do a good job implementing it see employees and managers find common ground.

It has another benefit, too.

“In our litigious society today, it’s better to have performance reviews and objectives with a paper trail, if you’re going to terminate someone. Otherwise, you may leave your company open for a lawsuit,” says Tony Chiviles, president of PayBridge.

Smart Business spoke with Tucker and Chiviles about how to utilize performance management in your organization.

How has performance management changed?

Performance management, like many areas of business, has moved toward automation and become more efficient. This makes it easier for employers to implement, and is much of the reason for its increased popularity.

That comes with drawbacks, however. With generic goals and objectives that lack customization to each employee’s performance, the human element is missing. For instance, if you have employees who tend to wear their emotions on their sleeves, which in turn impacts customer relationships, ‘good client communication’ as a goal doesn’t specifically address the true issue.

What’s the difference between performance management and employee appraisals?

With employee appraisal, a manager or supervisor is appraising an employee to determine whether or not he or she is eligible for promotion. It’s a very limited top-down approach that is seen as antiquated in the private sector, although it is still regularly used in government positions.

What are best practices for ensuring an organization gets value from its performance management?

You want to make sure that human resources is not only involved but also leads the process, with overall objectives and performance goals set by leadership.

When managers provide comments for their employees, for instance, HR can make sure the language isn’t too harsh, which may hurt employee morale or even open the company up to a potential lawsuit. Before the manager and employee have their sit-down, HR needs to review the evaluation. HR also can assure the employees understand that this isn’t a tool just to determine if they are going to be eliminated.

Another advantage of having HR involved is if the HR manager or director is gathering feedback from the department heads and reviewing the comments, he or she can spot trends that point to a wider concern.

Most progressive companies also allow their employees to complete self-evaluations within performance management, and some have peers involved in the process. Any feedback that employees receive is meant to give them an advantage and the ability to make necessary adjustments to their job performance.

However, you’ll need to customize how often your business holds review periods, depending on the type of job. For example, sales staff might do reviews quarterly, while administration or office directors sit down with their supervisors once or twice a year.

If you want to utilize performance management software, you should look for flexibility and total system access so employees can go back to previous reviews.

If your company is experiencing turnover problems or morale issues, it might be time to add a performance management system. If you’ve already implemented one, then consider working with experts who can help customize the solution to better reach your employees and improve your workplace environment.

Insights HR/Solutions Payroll is brought to you by PayBridge

Become a ‘best-place-to-work’ through performance management.