Written by
Changeboard Team

Published
13 Sep 2010

Agility the key to performance management?

13 Sep 2010 • by Changeboard Team

Efficiency & innovation key for leadership

The ongoing uncertain economic conditions make it more essential than ever for leaders to be able to effectively and proactively reshape their organisations as situations require.

Fresh approaches and thinking are required, and recessions provide an opportunity for organisations to re-shape and prepare for the future by implementing changes that perhaps would not otherwise have been considered. It's important that key decision-makers are able to view all employee performance objectively, and this can mean not being ingrained in old methods that exist in the business, but looking at the tools and methods that drive objectivity and innovation.

There's also a need to ensure that managers and high potential individuals are fully equipped in their knowledge and skill-sets to operate effectively in their management roles into the future. This highlights the importance of succession planning, external training and innovative processes as important features of leader development.

Ensure integrity is at the heart of performance

How do we ensure that integrity is at the heart of employee changes, and if changes are occurring how closely are they being monitored? There is always more than one element or way in which someone succeeds or fails in their role and that highlights a need for change.

Questions to ask include:

  • What are their personal, management or communication styles
  • What are their strengths and what development opportunities are available
  • What processes are in place to assess employees’ skills and provide future development plans?

How can you measure performance effectively?

Using tools such as proficiency assessments, 360s, coaching appraisals and review cycles provides a more effective and transparent picture of the individual’s performance. If these are used fully to support individuals at different phases of their career growth, they can provide more accurate information on all aspects of a job, and the full range of indicators that impact on job success.

Using competency models that anchor behaviours, and integrating these tools which  illustrate to individuals what effective and ineffective performance looks like, helps avoid problems that can occur when employees only focus on certain aspects of a role.

Exiting out stagnant employees in a positive way

Many employers struggle with how to give employees who are leaving the organisation a feeling of having something meaningful to work towards in the future. Quite often objectivity around decision-making is not transparent and should be deployed.

The key with all exit strategies is that people are often unaware of the job opportunities that exist beyond their current sphere of experience. Much support is traditionally given to CV and interview planning and job search for their futures but we should ask the question: “Are exiting employees given sufficient useful information to help them make informed decisions?”

Support departing employees

The right assessment and profiling tools can often help by identifying underlying issues which need addressing, as well as giving the employee a broader perspective on the situation and encouraging them to look beyond their current role when looking for a new job.

To care is to help someone have an appropriate route to develop into their new future. This could also mean giving employees opportunities before they leave to work with people performing different types of jobs, as this may be helpful and address their needs more fully.

Leading by example

Navigating through the complexities of why low performance exists is a complex issue and is not always about employee underperformance. It can also cover such areas as culture, management style and motivation. What if managers themselves get it wrong? What if they do not have the impact or skills to lead effectively?

Implementing new approaches to performance management and ensuring an objective review process is in place will help ensure that the business – at all levels - is in a strong position, whatever the future may hold.