Five steps to effective performance management of staff

In an effective organisation, work is planned in advance, including the way to manage the performance of employees. In this sense, planning means setting performance expectations for groups and individuals.

Planning, thus, is the first step towards effective management of staff performance. The other four steps are monitoring, capacity development, performance rating and rewarding good work.

Planning

Getting employees involved in planning will help them to understand what needs to be done, why it must be done, and how well it should be done.

The requirements for planning employees’ performance include establishing the elements and standards of their performance appraisal plans. Performance elements and standards (or objectives) should be measurable, understandable, verifiable, equitable, and achievable.

Employee performance plans should be flexible so that they can be adjusted for changing programme objectives and work requirements. When used effectively, these plans can be beneficial working documents that are discussed often, and not merely paperwork that is filed in a drawer and seen during appraisal time.

Monitoring

Effective organisations monitor assignments and projects continually. Monitoring well means consistently measuring performance and providing on-going feedback to employees on their progress.

Monitoring provides the opportunity to check how well employees are meeting predetermined standards and to make adjustments as may be necessary.

Developing capacity

Effective organisations evaluate employee developmental needs and address them. Other than training, an employee’s capacity to perform can also be raised by assigning them duties that introduce new skills or higher levels of responsibility, and improving work processes where necessary.

Performance Rating

From time to time, organisations find it useful to summarise employee performance. This can be helpful in comparing performance over time or among various employees. Organisations need to know who their best performers are.

Performance rating means evaluating employee achievements against the elements and standards in a performance plan, and assigning a summary rating.

Rewarding

Rewarding means recognising employees for their performance. Good performance should be recognised without waiting for nominations for formal awards to be solicited. Actions that reward good performance, such as expressing verbal appreciation, don’t require a special arrangement. Nonetheless, scheduled rewards can take the form of cash, time off, trip, and many non-monetary items.