While it’s true that here at ClearCompany we’re obsessed with the technology that makes performance management really perform, it’s important to have a constant eye behind the curtain of your performance management system. We’re not talking about software or platforms; we’re talking about the actual human beings in charge of running this show.
Automation and streamlined processes are essential tools for performance management systems, but they don’t replace personal empowerment, tailored rewards and recognition, a human voice saying “thank you” or a real conversation about the employee’s relationship with the organization.
Empowerment is one of those productivity and engagement tools that leaders underestimate and underutilize far too often. Empowered employees are the ones who take the initiative, expand their skill set and show their co-workers that it’s okay to try. Before employees can take on their own empowerment, it must be granted, or facilitated by leadership.
“Empowerment is not always assumed by the employees, no matter what management may think. If your employees are not taking the initiative to own their jobs, then they do not feel empowered to do so.” - Author and Productivity Expert, Laura Stack
Make sure that your performance management process makes room for safe failure, feedback and the praise of effort. A study conducted by Pepperdine University, "The Impact of Empowered Employees on Corporate Value”, reveals that companies that truly invest in empowering their workers, experience better financial results than companies that lack employee empowerment initiatives. Furthermore, the study concludes that empowering employees with the ability to learn and improve faster than competitors results in the only true sustainable advantage. Now that sounds like an effective performance booster.
The right performance management system or goal alignment system will give leaders alerts, highlighting successes, but they have to take it from there. A computer recognizing an employee’s hard work is vastly different from a manager or peer giving them personal acknowledgment. If rewards are looking sparse due to budget, that’s fine, but amp up the recognition.
Professional staffing consulting gurus at Robert Half define the 3 major, effective ways leaders can show high-performing workers that they are valued.
- Say it like you mean it. There is no better way to inspire employees than by offering your sincere gratitude for their efforts. But don't give praise just for the sake of giving praise. Your attempts at employee recognition will backfire if an employee doesn't consider your words heartfelt.
- Publicize achievements. One of the best ways to recognize employees is to spread the word about noteworthy individual and team accomplishments during meetings or in emails to your entire company.
- Explain the bigger picture. People tend to work harder when they know that their work matters. To help your staff feel more personally invested in the success of the organization, share information about the business and how standout efforts contribute to the company's bottom line and overall goals.
Again, the proper technology will automate surveys and reviews, but it’s up to leadership to use that information in a timely and effective manner. If you’re doing them correctly, your reviews should consist of peep-to-peer reviews, self-assessments and manager led reviews. The information must be organized, prioritized and delivered in a manner that will inspire and motivate the employee.
Did you know that 60% of employees claim to have not gotten any useful feedback from their management in over 6 months? What would your employees currently say about the caliber and frequency of their feedback?
The one thing that even our patent pending performance management system can’t do for your workforce is truly care about them and their success; that has to come from leaders. The heart-felt leadership movement has been a long time coming, but it’s here and it’s time to embrace it. True and sustainable engagement, loyalty and motivation are only possible if leadership is genuine in their role.
You should have noticed a trend; the right tech tools, coupled with the right leadership skills, create the perfect formula for successful performance management. Neither component is effective enough to really sustain high performance, especially in an expanding organization.
Let’s talk about your performance management -the tech and the human side!