Monitoring an Performance review.

Monitoring : 

Once expectation are known, your team members will go forth and try to deliver what is expected of them. It is important for your to monitor what is actually being delivered and to review performance with team members on regularly basis. At these review meetings team members should be able to identify for themselves whether they have delivered their target and objectives, although from time to time you might have additional information and observations, particularly in relation to standards. Where performance meets the expectation, this should be acknowledged and praised.

Where performance falls short of the expectation, the reasons of the shortfall need to be explored, openly and honestly. An action plan should then be put in place to correct or make up the shortfall.

When your staff exceed the expectation or meet particularly challenging objectives, the praise should be emphatic. Your should go out of your way to make sure that their exceptional performance is both recognised and appreciated.

The other thing you should be thinking about when staff over perform is how you are going to find the right balance between maintaining motivation while stretching future performance. If you suddenly hike up their target by 20%, may be they will see it as  a punishment for performing well and become demotivated. You will need to engage them in a skillful dialogue that focuses on what they expect of their own performance based on how well they have done so far.

The performance review :

The formal performance review often known as appraisal process is not a form filling excercise to statisfy the human resources department, neither it is a "school report" and nor should there be any surprises. If you are doing your job well, best practice dictates that you will reviewing staff performance regularly and doing everything required of the performance review process whether there is a formal appraisal system in place or not. In other words, the performance review process fits in with or supports good leadership practice rather than the other way around.

Overview  :

  1. Review the performance that has taken place against expectation.
  2. Planning the future performance expectations
  3. Reviewing the job description
  4. Reviewing the development that has taken place.
  5. Planning future development.

The majority of the inputs to this discussion should come from staff members. Your role is to guide the discussion by asking right question, ensuring objectivity and making additional assertions where necessary. The two areas where you are likely to provide a higher inputs to the discussion are in planning future performance expectation and planning future development. Nonethless, the more of it that comes from the individual, the more powerful it is likely to be.

  • Encourage your staff to take ownership of the review process. Get them to come along prepared with evidence and examples to support their achievements. Let them drive the discussion as long as it remains on track. The more they take ownership of their own performance, the more likely they are to deliver. It is also an opportunity to ensure their development is on track and for them to express any support requirements they may have.
Frequency of review :  An annual appraisal process is insufficient for regular performance reviews. Many companies have recognized this and are moving towards half yearly or querterly reivew. While this is a good move, you should probably be conducting regular reviews even more frequently. This is where it can be useful to refer back to the competency based leadership model and think in terms of the general competence of the person as a whole rather than on task by task basis. The following guidelines show how frequently performance reviews should take place.

General Level 1 Competence : Weekly Review
General Level 2 Competence : Monthly Review
General Level 3 Competence : Monthly  Review
General Level 4 Competence : Quarterly Review

A regular performance review meeting should have exactly the same components as the formal review meeting. While these meetings are less formal than the documented appraisal process, you should still keep records of the key outcomes of the meeting. In particular, if there is any under performance, a record of the action plan should be circulated to the staff member, in writing after review meeting.

Dealing with Under Performance :
In most cases under performance can be successfully addressed by identifying it early on, discussing it with the individual and putting in place an action plan that will get performance back on track. 

Continued under performance is, or at least should be, a valid reason for dismissing or redeploying an individual. Of course, you have to work within the employment  laws of the country involved. You are not expected to be an employment law expert and you should engage the human resource department at the earliest opportunity once it becomes apparent that an underperfomance issue might go down disciplinary route.

In general terms, it is unlikely that disciplinary action can commence unless appropriate development and performance improvement opportunities have been presented to the individual. This is not as cumbersome as it sounds. If you have been following best practices in terms of development and performance and keep good written records, then it is likely that the human resource dept will be able to progress to the disciplinary stage expeditiously.

If you have an individual who is trying hard but is simply not very well suited to the role they are in, the organization might benefit from redevelopment. If the individual is capable but not performing bacause of a lack of efforts, it normally better all round to go down a disciplinary path that will lead to dismissal if performance does not improve. Redeployment in these instances is likely to be counter productive to the organization's success.

If you are following practice : Recruiting the right people, developing them in relevant competency areas, conducting regular performance reviews around known expectations and as we shall see, helping to motivate them, delegating effectively, managing workloads appropriately and creating an inspiring team working environment then you are unlikely to encounter continued under performance very often, if at all.

Informal Communicaiton :
One of the most powerful things you can do to drive performance is to communicate regularly with your team members. By this, I don't mean micro managing them. Informal communication is about being touch with your staff on a day to day basis, making sure support is available if they need it keeping your finger on the pulse with regards to issues of the day and showing that you are part of the team as well as leading it.

Sometimes they will need your inputs or help in removing a barrier, other times they will need energising or, perhaps, a team member might need to let off steam. Part of becoming a brilliant leader is developing  an intuition for what is required to keep your team at optimum performance while ensuring they are also comfortable wit your presence.

Also Read : Motivation

1 comment:

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