You have spent time selecting a new employee, making them an effective offer, and onboarded them properly. Now it is time to ensure that they deliver the performance that you need. That is the entire point of the exercise correct? We return to the question that I started out with. How do you know that the employee is doing what you need?
There are side discussions that can happen here associated with delegation and retention. Today, I want to focus strictly on job performance. I work with many clients to help them define the way that they will measure performance. This measurement needs to be part of the way the business works. Otherwise keeping track will not happen. If the tracking does not happen, then the measurement does not mean much. This is part of one of the major rules of performance management. The rule is to Inspect what you Expect. If you are paying attention, your employees will as well. When I worked for Racal-Datacom, we had a VP of Engineering who wanted to improve schedule performance. Every Friday morning, we reviewed the schedule updates for every project in Engineering. If your schedule was not updated properly or changes were not explained, you were chastised in front of a crowd. This ensured that we had accurate and updated project plans. Those that did not were not employed for long.
If you are having trouble measuring employee performance, you might want to think about using Virtual Assistants. I have had several clients that employed these folks to implement documentation and data tasks at a modest price. This allows you to take advantage of more data before you have had a chance to automate it. This is important as you might want to adjust processes before they are automated. It costs less money to make changes before you have invested in the process.
Another management principal is how to address performance. The answer is that feedback must be timely and specific. This is true whether the feedback is positive or negative. Don't let things go. If you appreciate what somebody has done, tell them as soon as possible. That feedback will help people understand what you want. Otherwise, they think that you don't care. If they do poorly, then you need to address a problem before it is repeated. By being timely and specific, you let employees know that you are watching and care.
Some people think that numbers and objective measures of performance are too cold. I think it is transparent and removes personality. We want to talk about how John and Jane are doing their job against a standard. We don't want to consider their personality or any other personal characteristics. An employee is doing the job, or they are not doing the job. They know what their accountabilities are and that is how you are judging their employment. If all the employee’s objectives together exceed your business plan then you have a circle of excellence to build on.
Have a great day!
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