Organization Performance Management Best Practices

Earlier this week, Jason talked about employee performance, and why it’s often a nightmare. I am hoping today, to do the same for organization performance management, and shed a similar light on it.

Organization performance management is misconstrued in how difficult it actually is, just as the previous subject was, but for very different reasons. While employee management seems like a very logistically-painful experience, organization performance seems like something that’s going to be a coordinational and sociologically intricate and stifling task.

Well, if you’re not careful, it can be such. The problem is that where there are stories of failure on this topic, if you look closely at them you will find a recurring theme, and that’s the lack of an understanding of the human animal and the social dynamic.

So, today, I’m going to discuss what various symptoms mean, and what you can do to address them, while practicing your managerial duties in relation to an organization.

First, let’s look at a problem a lot of people have with an organizational learning concept, and that’s pacing between individuals being very disparate. Some learn faster than others, and all learn unevenly, resulting in a half-prepared team at the end.

This is a symptom of a lack of teamwork and selflessness in the individuals. Now, some people aren’t inherently altruistically-minded, and it’s not a judgment of such people. It has to be encouraged and brought out in most people, and so you must find some way to motivate them to work together, just as Jason said was the case in the previous topic.

There are a lot of ways to approach this, but I suggest, as usual, taking a chapter out of the gamification book in that just as you reward individual progress, you more greatly reward group progress, so that individuals have a motivation, and a tangible one, to assist one another.

Along with this, you need clear cut group goals, the success or failure of which are clear enough to take metrics on. If you want to manage performance, you need to measure it to begin with. If you can’t get metrics, or are feeling the need to guesstimate the overall performance of your organization, this is a symptom of goals not being clear and focused enough. With poor metrics will come a poor sense of how well the material is being absorbed, resulting in failure in the end.

Just as you don’t drive a car without a speedometer, you don’t perform training without a good set of metrics, and a facilitation of taking them.

Ultimately, organization performance management is mostly about ensuring that first off, the organization acts as a unit, which calls for tweaking individuals to have a group centrism in their thinking. After that, if you want to know when to change tactics, or even know when anything else is wrong, your goals need to be clear enough to take concrete measurements by.
 

3 Strategic Human Capital Management Principals

Let’s take a brief look today at strategic human capital management.  It might sound like a mouthful, but hopefully I can clear up what I think is fairly understandable.

Strategic human capital management is just another way of describing the same thing corporate talent development or organizational structuring also describe: the use of human resources with the keys being talents and flaws, and combining teams and dynamics in such a way as to have these strengths and weaknesses compliment one another when the team unit or environment is established.

That said, I think this is a good time to actually give some tips on how to accomplish this the best way possible, because while all of these terms are frivolous renamings of the same basic thing, there’s a kernel of profundity to this, and so, it’s best to use this right, if you’re going to use it.

First, be sure to use a tool that organizational learning gurus have been talking about for a long time, SWOT analysis. What this basically entails is to analyze individuals through their records, proficiency tests and interviews to lay out their personality traits, their strengths or talents, and their weaknesses. In training, this is all about finding out what training needs they have, but here, it’s more to just get that strategic human capital metric you need to continue.

Second, upon having gotten this metric, form your groups by combining socially-compatible people with a combination of talents and weaknesses that overall balance out to an effective dynamic. This is the strategic part I was talking about, actually. Regard them as resources, or components, and configure them in the way in which they work in unison the best. Do trial runs of these groups before putting them to work or training, to be sure that no missed aspects of any of them becomes a wrench in the works, too.

Finally, be sure to instill a concept of a greater-than-oneself goals in these individuals, or else they will be resources that do not work properly. Without a sense of accomplishment above and beyond what the individual feels or values, the entire thing will fail, and the group will not work in harmony.

Strategic human capital management is just about regarding employees not by prestige or individuality, so much as their mental attributes and how they can work together to play off of each other in an orderly and productive manner.

Some people would say that this kind of objectification of employees is cold, austere and even unethical, but I would disagree. When planning teams, you have to look at it this way, and when training or working out processes, you also have to be a little impersonal. At the end of the day, a good leadership professional knows where this objectification ends and the invaluable human being with human needs begins.
 

4 Employee Performance Management Tips

Employee performance management is one of those subjects that comes with training, which makes many people in leadership positions cringe. I often sympathize in my writing with both leaders and employees who have mandatory training thrust upon them, as the training is often theoretical is not directly relevant to their daily work.

However, given the constant learning environment that the modern digital world demands, training is unavoidable, and so is employee performance management. Leaders who are good leaders don’t get any pleasure out of judging their employees, or in being disciplinarians or logistics people. The very idea of grading, correcting and critiquing performance both in the workplace or in a training scenario, is a daunting and rather unappealing thought. It is a position most people would rather avoid having forced on them.

Well, I’m going to try and make this a bit less of a nightmare for you. It’s not as bad as you think, if you follow four simple tips that I’ve found make this not only easier, but less socially stressful as well. They don’t guarantee a painless, definitely successful venture, but they will most definitely tip the scales in favor of such.

#1 – How to “Grade”

I’m going to take something right out of gamification here, because this is one of the bigger issues people have. In training, traditional grading methodologies are actually not as constructive as one would think. While positive grades motivate and reward success, negative grades for failures only reinforce failure by breeding negativity and an environment of harsh judgment.

Gamification calls for a new way of looking at the success, failure and progress of employees or students, by awarding experience and levels for success, and simply nothing for failure. This will reduce the insult or belittling that negative grades create, and let people know that mistakes happen. They motivate improvement, while not harshly punishing failure.

#2 – Encouraging Cooperation

Making your logistics less of a nightmare is possible if you encourage cooperation between trainees or employees so that everyone is motivated to help. This way, no student is left behind, and a constant juggling of overall and individual performance is no longer an issue. With everyone learning evenly, this part of management becomes so much easier and less of a confusing nightmare to handle.

Once more, gamification encourages this, so I’m just going to say, reference its practices for how to best encourage cooperation. If you don’t completely gamify, at least use its solutions as a base to build from.

#3 – Making Meetings Social

There will come a point when this management will require you to approach your students or employees, and publically hand down judgment. This is inevitable and unfortunate, but this tip is all about lessening the blow as much as possible.

Making these team meetings a social event, either at a casual restaurant, or in a social atmosphere with food onsite is going to make this far less of a negative experience. It will make them comfortable, receptive, and feel less judged.

At the same time, it’s a chance for them to voice their concerns or questions, which are invaluable to you as a leader. Without knowing their issues or misgivings, you’re not going to succeed with employee performance management, when you need to make changes.

#4 – Allow for Training Within the Flow of Work

Too often performance is low because the training is seen as not something relevant to daily work. Therefore, in order to boost performance, the strategy of continuous learning, learning that takes within the flow of work, makes it possible for the employees to fulfilling their everyday tasks better than before.

Interactive self guidance technology, WalkMe being a great example, is an incredibly valuable tool in empowering workers to perform their daily tasks at the moment they are working.  Employers are able to monitor the employees performance, while employees can work efficiently and mistake-free.

It is with these four tips, that I hope that employee performance is better managed and maximized, ensuring organizational growth and success.
 

3 Top Performance Management Software

Following Jason’s post yesterday about performance management, let’s take a look at a few performance management software examples.

You’re no doubt aware of how important a continuous learning environment is for your business in this day and age. It’s a fact of life now, and just as many companies are willingly accepting gamification as an inevitable necessity for positive work environments, so must they accept that performance management software is a must have, in order to get metrics needed to maintain continuous learning and gamification as well.

Performance management software is a highly developed and varietous niche of SaaS, and you have a good deal of great choices available, more than I can really name. In fact, I can’t say that any I’ve seen are particularly bad, but I can say that I’ve seen others that are exemplary.

So, I’m going to talk quickly about three of what I think are the best, but some of the alternatives are just as good. The order in which I name these means nothing, I just mention them in the order I researched them, more or less. So, there is no number one, really.

#1 (anyway!) – New Relic

New Relic is a metrics optimization based program, which handles over 62 billion metrics daily, at blinding speeds.

Designed around web application and digital workspace performance tracking, it’s great to facilitate the new crowdsourced workforce, as well as the digital services marketplace. It’s a little costly, but affordable to small businesses, and given the convention of small businesses being mostly digital, this is very facilitative for them.

#2 – Librato

Librato is similar to New Relic, but is designed to be less centered around web performance, making it good for integrating with learning software to track training or constant learning environments.

It’s very scalable, but may be a bit overpowered for the small business owner. However, it’s very easy to use and very stable, and its price isn’t half bad, so it you’re not going digital completely, this is a good middle of the road choice, balance-wise.

#3 – PacketTrap RMM

What makes packetTrap RMM so interesting is that in a constant learning environment, it’s a great way for IT to track problems with infrastructure or to spot where employees are having trouble with their systems or learning proficiency with them.

Add the ability to tie this in with a learning management system like WalkMe, and you get a really powerful way for IT people to see to it that new systems in place are being properly learned and troubleshot by everyone involved.

This kind of instant learning and reaction is a new and wondrous thing, something that at one time would have been thought of as mere science fiction.

Performance management software is an important asset to have, and like any metric, you need to have the best, most precise measurements from the most precise channels possible. Without good software to handle this, you are basically driving without a speedometer, and it’s just as dangerous as it sounds, if for different reasons.
 

Performance Management Strategies Best Practices

I’ve been wary of broaching this topic for a while, because it’s a little bit more about metrics and science than some other training concepts, which are very sociological. But, I can’t avoid talking about performance management strategies forever. With the advent of gamification and continuing new output of new and innovative learning models and philosophies, this is going to be an increasingly important and to some, enigmatic factor in training and in daily performance as well.

The truth is that performance management strategies are more important than ever due to the need for continuous learning in most atmospheres. With the way progress moves these days, no sooner is something learned that something better or more complex yet effective comes along.

As a result, constant learning is more or less a must. This isn’t to mistake an “endlessly learning” environment with the constant learning training model, though one can be the other, they are not synonymous.

With this state of unending learning in all things, there is an increasing need to have a good constantly updating snapshot of performance both in work and in learning proficiency.

The trick is, how do you measure proficiency in learning and performance this way? Well, there are some strategies for how to measure this, and what tools to use to facilitate it.

One of the most useful things for this task are software services which are designed with training in mind. Even in an environment which is officially not a training one, this software can be invaluable both for efficiency and for metrics.

Software like WalkMe, and numerous others, are capable of integrating with other software both to teach, watch and report. They can also step in and assist, on a daily level, to reinforce good practices as well as prevent mistakes from having quite so grave consequences.

Gamification, which is being widely embraced by the training and working world for engagement, is also a great strategy for having base performance metrics. Since gamification is very much modeled after the tabletop style of game rules and interaction, it is very statistical and numerical in its basest form.

This results in having employee stats very, very visible and easy to tabulate. Over time, it’s possible to compare history of stats at given points to easily deduce performance in an elegant and simple way that is also very easy to communicate.

Another strategy is somewhat controversial. This actually would require consent from employees, even in a business atmosphere. But, logging searches for specific keyword combinations can provide an extra look at what topics are confusing employees, as they may deign to check Google or the like for an answer, rather than spend their time and someone else’s to consult local assistance.

This is a slippery slope, and a strategy we don’t’ want companies adopting with customers as a natural progression though so this strategy, I highly recommend not using lightly. Relying on software and a model that has statistics in mind is the best route to go, but in an emergency if all else fails, you may consider this a last resort approach.

There are many performance management strategies out there, some more controversial than others, but being sensible like I have suggested works for almost everyone.