The Complete Performance Management Training Guide

Performance management training is a training process that’s aimed at management personnel to help them create an effective strategy for increasing the performance of those personnel who serve under them. 

Furthermore, performance management should always be customized to reflect the organization’s policies and practices. These policies must be flexible enough not only to help managers and senior personnel implement performance management policies, but also allow for adaptation to change, volatility and organizational expansion. 

Because of these concerns, it’s important for organizations to establish a general, but flexible framework for carrying out their performance management objectives. So if you want to establish an effective performance management training program for your organization’s key personnel, then here is a step by step guide to help you do it. 

The Complete Performance Management Training Guide 

Step 1 – Define Your Objectives

The first step in establishing an effective performance training program is to identify its objectives. Here are several examples for you to think about: 

  • Teach Personnel How to Review Ratings and Criteria
  • Define the Manager’s Role in Performance Development, Goal Setting and Ensuring High Performance Standards Among Ordinary Personnel
  • Teach Management Personnel Performance-Oriented Discussions
  • Instruct Trainees and Managers On How to Establish A Better Work Environment


By defining these kinds of goals, the effects of performance management on your organization becomes easier to measure, which in turn leads to better effectiveness as well as improved output from all personnel involved in the training. 

Step 2 – Create A Performance Management Continuum

It’s important to emphasize that performance management is just one phase of a much larger process. This process begins with a performance review, which is more concerned with data. From the performance review, the information is used for performance management, which in turn is used to influence goal setting/planning as well as performance planning. 

A performance management continuum can have as many steps as necessary, but what they all have in common is that they incorporate performance management as a central process for ensuring the effectiveness of the entire staff. In other words, the performance management continuum is your long term strategy for performance management, and should be incorporated into any training process that your organization wishes to implement for your managerial personnel. 

Step 3 – Develop Performance Communications

After you have established your goals and strategy for your organization’s performance training program, your next step is to create a system for acquiring information about your personnel’s performance. This process involves several important tasks, including:

  •  Establishing Data for Regular Observation
  •  Analyzing Performance Objectives
  •  Creating Progress Reports
  •  Discussing Key Issues in Performance Management Discussions
  •  Establishing Confidentiality Protocols


These tasks are essential in communicating important information to performance managers, and should form a critical part of their training. In any organization, the efficient and (sometimes) confidential transfer of critical information is important for analyzing the performance of personnel, which means that they should always be implemented as part of your performance management strategy. 

Step 4 – Set Up Your Standards

Once communication has been taken care of, the next step should be to teach your managerial trainees on the importance of setting up standards for your organization’s performance management. Here are several ideas on how you can do this. 

  • Teach managers on how to define and establish goals for each review period
  • Teach managers on how to create mutually consistent time lines for breaking out progress reports on certain goals
  • Teach managers on how to report changes in performance goals and objectives
  • Teach managers on how to quantify, measure and analyze the performance of those personnel who are under them.


Standards help performance managers to know exactly what sort of goals their organization wants to achieve. More importantly, it also tells them if their personnel are meeting such goals or diverging from them. So in setting up a performance management training program, it’s important to incorporate a course which helps management trainees know how standards work within their organization. 

Step 5 – Feedback System 

Performance management training programs should also incorporate a feedback system. These systems are basically designed to allow performance managers to make constructive comments, criticisms and suggestions about the performance of individual personnel, entire divisions, or even their own fellow managers. 

The feedback system should also be designed in such a way as to allow the implementation of quick and efficient solutions whenever serious performance problems are found among personnel. They should also be designed in such a way that they can be used to introduce new ideas or suggestions which can potentially increase the productivity of core personnel. In this sense, teaching managers how to create an effective feedback system is equivalent to teaching them how to address performance problems among personnel. 

Step 6 – Establish Scalability

Finally, performance management training requires an organization to create a system that is scalable. What this means is that the operations, training, appraisals and tests used in the past can be “scaled up” to serve additional personnel as the organization grows. 

This is an important point to remember because whenever organizations grow, the more complicated their operations become. The problem here is that complex systems ultimately experience performance problems, such as redundancies or structural inefficiencies. By teaching your managers how to scale up performance management in order to absorb larger amounts of people, they will be able to help prevent some of the problems which often plague large organizations. 

Although relatively minor compared to the other factors, creating a scalable framework for all performance management related operations will make a lot of people’s jobs a whole lot easier. 

Conclusion 

The information here is a general sketch of how performance management education should be undertaken in any given organization. Keep in mind that since different organizations have different policies and long term goals, policies which affect performance management must be constructed in such a way that they can adapt to any changes in the organization, while at the same time maintaining an effective system which can be used to optimized the performance of an organization’s personnel.

So in establishing a performance management training program for your organization, always remember that it should designed to serve not only the needs of the organization, but those of the workers and managers as well.


Employee Performance Review Tips to Improve Learning

Pointing at every typical performance flaws, criticizing weakness or holding the team member responsible for small mistakes should never be a part of your employee performance review. An appraisal system is not meant to penalize the poor performers. Rather than being a big source of disappointment, you can try to turn this system into a great learning curve for both the outstanding and average performers.

Employee Performance Review Tips to Improve Learning

1. Focus on Constructive Feedback, Not Negative Feedback

Instead of simply criticizing the wrong doings, when you try to help your employees improve on their past weaknesses through your advice, it’s called constructive feedback. Your feedback provided during performance review should be encouraging enough to bring out the best of a human resource. Don’t push your ideology on the employees. Let them explore their latent talents. It’s you who should help them understand how proficient they’re and scope of improvements.

2. Don’t Drag the Past Issues. Get Over It

If you ever had a not so pleasant experience with an employee, don’t’ bring the issue during the performance assessment session. You’ve to get over the personal conflicts to be able to identify the pure talent. A bad moment can be driven by an unfavorable situation.

A performance evaluation criteria must be impartial and free from your personal judgements. This is the only way through which you can be fair with your subordinates and let them know that they have been evaluated solely based on their skills, productivity and initiatives. They must know that nothing but their performance and skills matter to the organization.

3. Clear Communication: Use of Words are Preferred Over Use of Numbers

Try to speak in a clear and comforting way during the assessment. We don’t advocate the number based review system. We think it doesn’t convey the right message. If someone is getting 3 out of 5, there has to be a logical explanation to this. It’s important that your subordinate understands what you’re after. The understanding you develop with your employee will help him/her identify the flaws and learn to improve on the performance deficiencies.

4. Develop a Bond of Trust Through Performance Review

Learning needs motivation. You can’t encourage your employees to learn from their mistakes until you help them develop trust in you. Your performance evaluation might not sound too promising to an employee, but it should at least be a clear representation of your goal, his/her achievements, the gap between the two aspects and the reasons for that. Make performance evaluation a one to one process. Don’t make the weakness or mistakes of a staff public.

Build A Creative Evaluation Process

The way you design the assessment system is going to have a huge effect on the people you select for your business division. Don’t give up on an employee so easily. Employee recruitment is an extremely time consuming process. Make the performance evaluation method a fun and creative approach. You should make sure the employees get your ideas and the goal expectations. To make the employee performance review a less sufferable process for the learning goal oriented employees, keep it simple and an ongoing process.

Super Bowl Reflections – Building a Winning Team at Work

“People who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses or the problems of modern society” – Hall of Fame Football coach Vince Lombardi.

Vince Lombardi is considered one of the greatest American football coaches in history, and one of the best motivators as well. The National Football League championship trophy, which is awarded to the winner of the Super Bowl, is named after him. With the Super Bowl being played this coming Sunday, there are some lessons from football that can be transferred to the business world as well.

Successful employees and departments – like winning sports teams – are usually characterized by hard work, constant preparation, determination, and good leadership. However, teamwork and collaboration during employee training and even post-training everyday activities also play a significant role toward successful workplace performance.

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Value of Teamwork and Collaboration

Most organizational functions rely on internal collaboration to allow a company to attain its goals. Simple cooperation and coordination are not sufficient to facilitate good decision making. An organization requires collaboration in order to make the right decisions. It is impossible to train employees, reach performance goals or stay ahead of the competition if employees and management are not working together in an effective and efficient way. Collaboration helps to create a culture of positivity, success, and inclusion. Strong collaboration and teamwork can help an organization to overcome the most difficult situations and achieve goals that seemed impossible. It is easier for an organization to overcome difficult things when it has fostered teamwork and collaboration.

Collaborative Learning

In hierarchical organizations, in-depth training is more often than not offered to new employees. This is based on the assumption that they are the only ones who require training to orient themselves to the new requirements of them. In these organizations, seasoned employees only receive training when they are required to learn a new skill. In addition, training is often “top-down”, and one directional. While in certain ways this is natural, today it can create a sense of friction and resentment among newer team members.

Just as in sport, where the best teams are made up of a combination of experienced veteran leaders and youthful, energetic and driven younger teammates, a more level playing field in workplace training is appropriate and strategic. Training managers need to foster teamwork and collaboration during the training process. Find ways to engage and empower young workers, get them involved and make them feel valuable and that they are directly contributing. During the initial learning process and beyond, provide ways that they can receive immediate and relevant assistance in the moment of need, and have them participate in leadership roles, when applicable, such as allowing them to present a certain topic to others. Most employees prefer to learn through experience. Give them that experience.

Communication and Transparency

“It’s as simple as this. When people don’t unload their opinions and feel like they’ve been listened to, they won’t really get on board.” – Patrick Lencioni.

Training managers have to encourage communication and transparency in order to build strong and collaborative teams. Miscommunication often leads to hard feeling and this can undermine a team’s success. To improve communication and transparency employees need to learn how to see things from different angles and recognize and support efforts made by other team members. Periodically ask for and respond to employee feedback, and let them know that you value their feedback. It is also important to address any misunderstanding promptly and accurately.

Trust

Collaboration and teamwork is not possible if you do not develop trust in the organization. Collaboration is not limited to the organization. It has to include the suppliers and customers. If an organization does not foster trust, it can only achieve cooperation and instead of collaboration. Focus on building trust between employees, management, suppliers, and customers during training. The most effective partnerships are built when there is mutual trust within an organization.

Developing a Trust Culture

To foster a culture of teamwork in an organization, management has to let employees know that it expects collaboration and teamwork. You should train employees to be receptive and open to input and ideas from their colleagues. Employees and management need to know that they do not own a particular work area or process by themselves.

Management plays a very important role in developing a trust culture and this is why they should take an active role in employee training. Managers have to model teamwork as they interact with one another. They need to demonstrate teamwork even when things seem difficult. Train managers to be a good example to the employees by teaching them how to collaborate in challenging situations.

Training managers need to create teams that are equipped to deal with everyday issues in the workplace. Offer training on systematic techniques to allow teams to apply their energy on projects instead of spending time trying to figure out how they can team up to solve issues.

Make training a fun activity that involves everyone in the organization. Hold training sessions in interesting locations. Organize dinners, sporting events, hikes, and visits to amusement parks. These are fun ways to let both employees and management know that collaboration and teamwork are important for the organization’s success.

Celebrate teams that succeed during training. This is an effective way to motivate employees and management to work together. Offer gift certificates or trophies to teams that perform well during training to encourage teamwork and collaboration.

If you follow some of these main concepts, I think you’ll find success. As to the Super Bowl, enjoy the game!

 

Effective Employee Performance Improvement Plan

In the absence of a employee performance improvement plan, retaining the employees can become the biggest problem for your organization. It won’t be wrong to say that most employees perceive job satisfaction as one of the rarest things found on earth. Your organization can become one of those remarkable places provided you develop a proper performance improvement plan. We’ve brought you a few tips, or you can say some very effective course of action that can be implemented for maximizing employee satisfaction and productivity.

1. Defining Final Outcome

You must set the desired output in advance. For example, in the current financial year, if you want your salesmen to attain double of the revenue achieved last year, the goal should be defined to the personnel well in advance so that no question regarding the set target can arise later.

2. Design Employee Growth Program and Encourage Greater Productivity 

Once you set the desired goal, the next plan is to encourage employees and increase their work output. And that can’t be achieved if you can’t monitor and control their performance, give them job security or offer scope for growth. If you want your employees to align their thoughts with yours, you’ve to design an attractive employee growth program.

a) Job security

An employee can never perform under job security uncertainty. To ensure job security, help employees know how your organization is doing. Plus, the employees should not receive repeated job threat as it can pull down their self esteem, confidence and so the productivity.

b) Appraisals

To help employees do an outstanding job, you also have to design a fair appraisal program. Employees should be rewarded with increment, parks and yearly bonus based on their performance.

c) Insurance and Retirement Plans

By ensuring their life after retirement, you can also offer great moral support to your employees.

3. Monitoring and Controlling Employee Performance

You need to have a proper performance supervision process in place to identify the employees struggling with their work. For example, if one employee is not able to manage workload, you need to arrange a meeting with him/her to understand the complications, suggest methods and ways to manage pressure and handle work, set a mutually agreed deadline and provide additional support like appointing one assisting staff. Lastly, review the outcome.

4. Arrange Training and Development 

It’s no surprise that employees need to update their skills or areas of expertise to be able to improve their performance. People serving technology industry need training programs to update their skills and match the fast changing trends. By helping the employees improve their skill, you actually help them perform better.

5. Employee Retrenchment or Suspension Policies

You’ve to rule out the harsh employee retrenchment or suspension policies. No employee can perform better under an excessively strict performance or suspension policy. You need to be a bit liberal. However, you have to be smart enough to monitor and evaluate the performance of the employees at the same time.

So these were basically the most essential aspects of an employee performance improvement plan. You need to set your target goal, set rules for the working processes and design a performance evaluation process. After you execute this plan, evaluate it to determine the final outcome. You might have to edit the plan if the previous one doesn’t produce a satisfactory result.

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Learning By Doing – A Few Options

Corporate instructors can teach in a number of different ways, and those methods are evolving each and every day. These days, it’s not just about gathering everyone in a classroom and providing instruction. It’s about letting your employees perform tasks and giving them the opportunity to perfect what they are learning. Training and development strategies have shifted to a “learn as you work” strategy, or as some refer to it, “learning by doing”. Learning by doing is the way to teach someone how to do a task by  having them perform it.

Though it may sound a bit obvious, when you take a step back for a moment you realize that we as humans have behaved in a “learn as you do” strategy since when we were born. We learn how to walk after falling several times, or to learn how to ride a bike in the same way. And we gain self-confidence as we master social interactions, but only after much experience and some failures. So too int eh workplace training environment as well. We still might learn most effectively by directly applying knowledge or a particular skill to a specific action or task.

I’d like to take a look at a few of the different ways that a manager can implement learning by doing, and the following are some of the most popular approaches.

Sample Scenarios

One of the easiest ways to teach by doing is the time-tested approach of having sample scenarios. Give your teams a set of problems that they must work through in order to resolve. These can be real issues that you have faced before, or imaginary examples that you think would be a good fit. You can add input as to why each approach would be beneficial and the potential pitfalls that it has as well. It may even be a good opportunity to have some employees bring up issues they have faced themselves.

Free Training From Vendors

There are some vendors out there that will offer free training for your company. While you will have to do the legwork and see which businesses can benefit from this, it is a great opportunity for anyone that can take advantage of it. Having someone that has been in the industry for so long can give teams a different viewpoint because vendors have to handle a wide range of issues. If you are interested in this type of learning, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask your vendors and see if any of them offer training. You may be surprised at how many of them do.

Paying for Company-Based Training

You can also think about offering to pay your employees to train for the company. This may be smaller classes or college-based classes, but the overall impact is the same. It’s very hard for any company to stay on top of the game, and having a course that offers training may breathe new life into the business. Professors have years of experience that can’t be found anywhere else, and these course settings can cover a wide range of topics and introduce new ideas or concepts that are gaining momentum. While it may sound like a disadvantage for a company to pay for services like this, it provides your employees with a reason to learn outside of their schedule and can end up paying off in the end when you are able to apply those ideas to your company.

Digital Guidance Systems

One of the most innovative solutions is simply known as a digital guidance system. A digital guidance system is something that works with your current browser and walks users through a variety of steps, based on what they are trying to accomplish. The tools are always there, and they can always look for help if they encounter a problem in which they have no solution. This means that learning can truly be done on the job and not have to be something that takes up any extra time. One of the most popular examples of this is a program known as WalkMe. As the name suggests, WalkMe walks users through a problem, giving them a way to resolve an issue while receiving real-time feedback and tips.

These are a good entry point in the Learning by Doing outlook. Beware, it might by a bumpy road at times, but you’ll see increased efficiency and heightened performance in the long-term.
 

Empowering your Employees through Performance Support Technology

Gone are the days when the only job of the boss was to delegate the task to the employee. These days a senior has to perform a large number of duties himself. Taking care of his employees and providing them with necessary assistance from time to time is now one of the chief tasks of a manager. This is where the performance support technology comes into play.

Performance support technology helps to put forward the accurate information and admittance to that information into the hands of your personnel, at the most appropriate time as and when it is required by them. Performance support technology is basically aimed at arming your workforce with some tools so as to increase their output on the whole and help them to successfully perform the job assigned to them. It is objected to provide the most suitable quantity of task leadership, help and efficiency benefits to the employee exactly at the time of need.

Types of Performance Support Technology

Performance support technology varies from employee to employee. Technology best suited for one employee may not be so suitable for the other. It ranges from being as easy as a job aid that maintains our to do’ list in the array that we have to do them. Performance support technology can also be in the form of online information resource that assists the employees to find perfect solutions to their questions or take complicated decisions.

Benefits of Performance Support Technology

· Performance support saves you some money

Training is a pricey affair. The expense is only justified depending on the time devoted by the employees and the organization for their training. Mostly the efficiency and output of employees in training is nil. Instead of attending boring classroom lectures and eLearning, employees would prefer consulting an online knowledgebase much more. Employees are often motivated more when the task is taught by the system than a so called expert. Moreover, it much cheaper and we get specifically what we need and get done with the task much sooner.

The saving part becomes even more effective when you take the advantage of economies of scale. Managers can scale performance support operated by undersized groups to serve the total organization very rapidly and in a cost-effective manner. There are no added trainers to employ, no extra seminar and lecture rooms to build, no journeys to pay for, and, most significant of all, no extensive downtime from the work. Moreover, if used effectively performance support technology can even diminish customer service costs and help in better satisfaction of the consumers.

· Performance support perks up the training process

Performance support is a vital part of the new training and learning model that focuses on teamwork, problem solving, experimentation, innovation, ideation, and providing inventive solutions to business challenges, all directed by a mentor who is more coach than professor. In-class performing with performance support technology can be very advantageous when employees return to the place of work as they have gained enough experience on real time tools that can help them perform well.

The era of performance support technology

With the coming times, all companies seem to be following some form of this technology to increase efficiency and effectiveness of their workforce. The reason this technology is preferred so much is because it is an in-house and timeless mode of training the employees. They learn without being taken away from the real work situation as such.

WalkMe is a form of performance support technology that provides a cloud-based service created to help professionals like user training professionals, customer support managers, experience managers, SaaS providers and sales managers to lead and appoint prospects, employees, customers and partners by means of any online experience. WalkMe has crafted a podium that assists businesses in getting rid of any form of online confusion, while at the same time lift up competence and reduce costs for the organization. It is mostly used by managers to augment conversion rates, decrease support costs, boost self-service implementation, speed up training and develop customer experience. WalkMe also empowers the employees to collect helpful analytics that helps UX managers, support managers, mentors and sales managers to enhance and fine-tune their online directed instructions to go with their customer’s needs.

Performance support technology is like any other form of technology; the sooner you get a hang of it the better it is for you! If you wish to achieve an entirely new level of productivity then it is probably time for you to learn and implement it in your place of work.
 

If Performance is Low, is Training the Appropriate Response?

Often, when job performance is falling short of expectations, managers resort to mandatory training sessions for their employees.  Either workers are sent offsite for instruction, or trainers are brought in to provide new training.  Yet one has to ask, when it comes to underperformance, is holding training sessions the most effective method for improving productivity?

Let’s consider the cost.

When a company pulls its employees off the job for training, momentum is interrupted and productivity must be decline; the workers are not working.  This downtime has an obvious cost; employees are paid to be trained, and then paid overtime to catch up on their work.  Trainers must be paid to conduct classes.  Materials must be purchased. money

Are the benefits what management expects?

The answer to this question is, too often, no.  It isn’t hard to see why.  How do we learn any skill we can think of?  Is it ever by being “talked at?”  Do we learn by hearing about something, by seeing something, or by doing?  If you reflect on every skill you have acquired in your life, you will quickly discover that you have learned by doing.  You didn’t learn to ride a bike by being told how to do it, or by reading about it.  That is the same for Baseball, Football, Cheerleading, or dancing.  In every case, though you may see a demonstration of the skill you are going to learn, you learn it by trying to do it.

We all know that the first time we attempt a new skill, we usually don’t get it just right; we often fail to achieve success at all.  We usually need a coach – a teacher.  This person doesn’t tell us what to do, he shows us.  He helps us correct those aspects of our effort that are preventing us from achieving success.  Each time we receive correction we attempt our new skill again.  We may improve; we may also still need help to reach the performance level we want.  We repeat this process until we reach our objective: learning the new skill.

We go through a process like this for every skill we learn.  It is only after we are able to perform the new skill at a useful level that reading about it, or seeing it done by an expert will be meaningful to us and add to our ability.

What does this mean for our question concerning training?  It means that when an employee is unable to perform a work task at an acceptable level, training will not be the complete answer.  The employee needs a different kind of help: he needs job coaching, mentoring, or job shadowing.

A job coach is a hands-on teacher.  The employee attempts to perform the task at which he is deficient and the job coach shows him what he is doing wrong.  He also demonstrates how to perform the task correctly.  The employee practices with supervision and correction until he is able to successfully complete the task without further assistance from the coach.

Coworkers

Job shadowing, which often precedes coaching, has an employee follow (or shadow) a successful worker who is performing a task, watching how the work is done.  He then attempts it himself.  If the task is complex, he may need job coaching after he has shadowed another worker.

A mentor is someone who grooms an employee for greater responsibility and a more supervisory position.  When an employee demonstrates a skill level and leadership qualities that suggest his ability to perform supervisory work, or more complex production assignments, a mentor can take him and be both a motivator and instructor in the skills necessary for the higher level assignment.  A mentor provides both the person to shadow and the coach to instruct.  He is also the person responsible for preparing an employee for promotion within the company.

In-Work Performance Support

I would like to suggest performance support as an additional effective strategy.  When we refer to performance support, we are looking at a tool or other resource, from print to technology-supported, which provides just the right amount of task guidance, support, and productivity benefits to the user—precisely at the moment of need.  The reason why performance support is valuable is that even if you did decide to retrain employees who were underperforming, there is still only a percentage of knowledge fully retained and applied once the training sessions ends.

With in-work performance support, employees are provided real-time assistance immediately, so that the knowledge transferred is directly relevant, specific and timely.  WalkMe, for example, provides online guidance on a website or software in which the employee is required to operate, providing for them step-by-step instructions on how to perform successfully any task, no matter how complex.

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So when dealing with underperformance, performance support provides direct assistance when needed, provided a solution that is more cost-effective, impactful and longer-lasting the training.

The use of job coaching, job shadowing, and mentoring will frequently provide more benefit at lower cost than job training.  There will be less time lost to productive work, a faster learning curve, and less additional expenditure than is the case when bringing in an outside training organization.  They should be the first tools used when employees are not performing up to expectations.
 

Staff Performance Appraisal Tips

Nobody looks forward to staff performance appraisal; especially not the staff. Human nature isn’t conducive to judgment, and good leaders don’t inherently like judging people, either. Nonetheless, in a business atmosphere, there’s no getting around this necessity.

When it comes time to perform these appraisals, you want it to go as smooth as possible. So, you have to know your facts when it comes  to human nature and how to handle people in these delicate types of situations.

Having good leadership skills doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a ‘people person’ by nature. For instance, I admit that I’m not much of a people person at my core, but with  my experience in leadership positions, I’ve had to learn people skills in order to be effective.

When you’re not a ‘people person’, implementing these ‘people skills’, and conducting assessments properly can be more of a challenge, but luckily, there are ways to tackle the problem.

#1 – Realistic Needs Assessment

Training is a situation that calls for a lot of assessment; the trick is to be realistic in assessing these needs. Always remember that people are human and they make mistakes. People are not perfect and they are not computers. Even the most efficient and organized company will fall a little short of idealistic goals and standards.

You need to account for some level of slippage here; otherwise, you’re just chasing unrealistic goals and making judgments based on unobtainable numbers. It’s also important to make sure that your employees know that this slippage is unavoidable, it will happen and it’s ok.

But at the same time, don’t promote underachievement. Relate to them that being complacent is not tolerated. Workers should push themselves to reach goals that are out of reach. It’s always good to reach for the sun, but not to let one’s wings break in the process.

#2 – Measure Interaction Proficiency

Something that’s overlooked, in many cases, is the interaction between people within an organization. Teamwork can make or break a company. People need to be able to work well together.  Workers must be open; personalities and philosophies may not align, but that doesn’t mean you can’t work towards a common goal. We are all human, people control whether the environment is helpful or full of stress and contention.

When conducting appraisals, you need to have a personal touch; have a heart-to -heart with individuals, and let them speak their minds about other employees. Confidentiality is important here, but when serious issues arise, you must approach those individuals reported to be problematic.  Find an effective way to let them know they have issues to work on and offer solutions. This is a tricky situation, because they will know “someone” complained about them, and if you handle this the wrong way, they can become defensive and upset as a result.

#3 – Look Inward

Sometimes you need to evaluate the leader- which means you. It’s hard to be unbiased when you do a self-evaluation, so it may be a good idea to appoint staff (outside your team) to talk to employees and find out any issues they may have with your leadership, your decisions and you as a person. You’re human too, and you can improve. This is especially true if you’re not a people person, it’s very easy to focus on the product and lose sight of the  people. Always make an effort to keep the human element in mind.

Staff performance appraisal is never a fun endeavor, but it’s a necessity. Often times a few little changes can make a big difference. I hope these tips will help make the process easy and effective. Good Luck!
 

How to Best Manage Underperformance

Now and then, people can disappoint. Remember, to err is human. This means that although you may have a stellar staff and a team of employees who pride themselves in their good, hard work ethic – they may actually be underperforming.

Underperformance is not always a result of laziness, incompetence or individual shortcomings. In fact, that’s rarely the case. So what actually causes underperformance?

Team Management

A team is a group of units working together under a unified governance. While these individuals- within the group – performs their individual tasks, they may be unaware that the overall system is not operating properly. Team inefficiency may lead to or result in individual underperformance. Sometimes the key is finding the weakest link.

Playing the blame game with staff will accomplish nothing; in fact, it may alienate people and break down relationships. That’s not the mark of good leadership.

So, here are a few tips to abate and manage underperformance.

#1 – Rethink your Goals

First, look at your goals.  Is employee performance weak or are your goals unrealistic? If your goals are unrealistic change them. Prioritize the most important elements and push back the less important tasks. Set new benchmarks and new numbers.

Are your processes optimized or inefficient? Look at the employees chosen, as well as who they are grouped with;  who is assigned to what? Should responsibilities be re-delegated? How can re-assigning employees lead to reaching your goals?

#2 – Track Performances with Reviews and Discussion

You may find that assignments have been given to people who don’t actually have the skills to perform the action, resulting in their inability to complete a task as well as someone who has a knack for it. Track their performance.

Consider reevaluating the tasks assigned to each task member. Recognize employee strengths and match it with corresponding tasks. Ask employees about their concerns and the challenges they are facing with their current responsibilities. Listen to feedback and consider a position that will better match their individual competency and proficiency levels.

Often, employees aren’t even aware of their shortcomings and may hide their uncertainty, doubt or discomfort .You need to have open, nonthreatening discussions with these employees about their concerns. This cannot be a one way discussion though, they need to be able to voice their opinion openly. Sometimes the problem may be a lack of motivation or it may be that they want a greater challenge.

#3 – Offer Training

When employees express a lack of confidence, uncertainty or discomfort with a given responsibility, you should offer them a training option. Nowadays there are a plethora of positive, easy training options available that are more fun and exciting than traditional methods.

You can also offer this training as a ‘reward’ that they actually earned. Examples include social games, offsite gathering and group activities that are followed by discussions. Remember to avoid being condescending and encourage constructive criticism.

#4 – Put the Power in Their Hands

You’ve now pointed out employee underperformance in a noncritical way and you’ve given them training options for improving their performance. Hopefully they have now recognized their weaknesses and are motivated to improve.

This is the time to put the power in their hands. Show your employees that the ability to improve is entirely within their power, and up to them. Show them that they have the ability to change, on their own, without any micromanagement. Your trust in them will improve their morale, as well as their own sense of self-worth, and probably light a fire under them to improve their performance in the future.

So there you have it; underperformance is a big issue in the business world and it  may be due to a variety of factors. These 4 tips will guide you on how to best manage underperformance and increase productivity.
 

How Technology Boosts Productivity in Employees

Employee productivity is something that, as a manger, you are always striving for (well, you should if you know what’s good for you and your company). It is the goal of every manager to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your staff pool. As far as business is concerned, productivity is the Holy Grail.

But, there are limits to how we can push for productivity (lest we become the stereotypical slave drivers, portrayed in workplaces via sitcoms, cartoons and other media). Employee productivity is a tough nut to crack. If we approach this challenge from a scientific rather than a greedy CEO’s point of view, than we have a shot.

Break it Down

Ask yourself; what is needed in order to boost a certain activity? Then brainstorm what can be done to obtain it. This tactic is cut and dry, a standard practice for figuring out the needs of your company (and employee), and then figuring out the way to get there.

So, In general, what are the elements that boost productivity in employees? And what are the factors hindering it?

Engagement

For one, we need more engagement in the workplace; when work becomes a tedious, boring chore (one that must be endured for many years …until retirement and death) life at work can become bleak, rather quickly. You must find ways to boost interaction and increase engagement. Take notice and offer a compliment to an employee for a task well done. Your workers will feel a sense of accomplishment, which leads to employee satisfaction.

Gamification

Gamification is a good way to establish some of this engagement and satisfaction. So, how can gamification be implemented? Technology is the answer; it’s the best way to handle this. Luckily, productivity tracking is available in almost all business tools, so many employers are making a shift to support gamification .

Technology

Advanced technology, in and of itself, can bolster productivity. Better software and hardware make it possible for staff to handle more work, more quickly and more efficiently.  Electronic performance support software can provide immediate employee assistance immediately, and within the flow of work, so there is no need for the employee to leave his/her desk or to wait for helpdesk assistance.   In addition, learning management systems (LMS) software have made it easier for training officers to administer and manage continuous online learning to employees, bolstering performance levels.   Furthermore, hardware advances, in particular the widespread adoption of smartphones and tablet computers, allow for information to be accessed from any location and on any device.

Confidence

Building on this thought… technology, gamification and engagement are not enough. Self-reliance and confidence –within the employees themselves- is a necessary element in boosting productivity.

When an employee is confronted with an issue they can’t solve or don’t understand, they face a dilemma. Do they have the confidence to handle it on their own or do they ask those above them for clarification? This process is not time efficient and creates self-doubt.

The situation can be easily avoided by creating a constant learning environment;  Employers need to provide their staff members with updates, an overview of what’s going on and information tools. This environment of constant learning and training (even implementing a rewards system), is a way to reduce and combat insecurities, while boosting employee motivation.

Within no time, you will notice increased self-confidence, improvement in work ethic, and a higher skill level… (all leading to increased employee satisfaction). This boosted morale and a sense of value will also bolster productivity. Happy employees who feel valued and feel useful are going to work more eagerly, more happily and more efficiently.

The Big Picture

It is pretty evident, from the eyes of an outside observer, that what we need in order to increase overall workplace satisfaction is to improve work life on a daily basis. This can be done via engagement, modern technology, gamification, boosting employee confidence and creating a learning-filled work environment. Try implementing some of these tips and see what a difference it will make!