Maximising employee performance through effective performance management strategies

Megan Thompson · January 20, 2023

Does your performance management strategy deliver effective results? To maximise and improve employee performance your people need to have meaningful, efficient conversations with their managers.

However, the majority of performance reviews do not deliver the value or quality outcomes that the business needs. Often this is a result of poor preparation prior to the meeting by both managers and employees, due to a lack of time or access to the right data.

What is performance management?

Performance management is crucial for any organisation that wants to maximise efficiency and productivity. The purpose and meaning of performance management is to monitor and improve employee performance to ensure that your people are working towards the key goals and objectives of your business.

A few performance management approaches enable managers and employees to have effective conversations.

This is most frequently an annual, quarterly or monthly appraisal, a review or 1:1 meetings. Many businesses use performance management software, others use Word, Excel or DIY surveys to capture this information and create action plans. Unfortunately, these documents often get buried in a folder somewhere to gather dust and managers’ and employees’ next steps are forgotten about.

Simply ensuring these appraisals and 1:1s happen is not enough to create high-performance teams. It is vital that everyone is equipped with the knowledge and tools to have effective conversations and act on the agreed next steps.

Why is performance management in business so important?

Performance management is crucial for business success. Rather than assess and rank people, performance management aims to help people be the best they can be. Alongside this is the commitment to build employee engagement, and a sense of belonging, and ensure that the values of the organisation align with those of its people.

Employers, HR and managers need to understand where their people are succeeding and where they are facing challenges in order to plug these gaps and create better performing teams.

When everyone in your organisation starts to pull in the same direction and understand how their performance contributes to the success of your business it can have a huge impact.

Criticisms of the performance management process

According to the CIPD, the effectiveness of traditional performance management reviews has been called into question.

Performance reviews are often infrequent, focusing on past performance and very little attention is paid to future performance improvements, learning and development. This can end up with employees feeling demotivated and uninspired about the next steps.

Feedback that comes directly from one person, such as a line manager or HR, can result in a limited and subjective view of one’s performance. This ultimately becomes a time-consuming, bureaucratic, and inflexible process that delivers poor results and creates a demotivating and uninspiring culture.

What do managers and employees think of performance management?

Managers and employees often view performance reviews as tedious and unproductive. In a CIPD survey, 73% of non-HR managers said they found their annual appraisal process to be ineffective. For those that have a bi-annual process, 46% agreed that it was also ineffective.

However, CPID found there is still an appetite for annual appraisals, with 62% of HR leaders and 61% of non-HR leaders agreeing that they are ‘a relevant practice’ for their organisations.

How to have a high-quality performance review

Step 1: Gather actionable insights

Employee performance management must start with data. This enables your managers to find a meaningful starting point, and drive the conversation using the information provided directly by their employees.

This will keep both employees and managers focused on the facts by using relevant, up-to-date data, instead of attempting to reflect back on the previous, month, quarter or year’s performance.

Step 2: Build and agree on an agenda

Next, you’ll need to collate your insights and agree on the key discussion points. Both managers and employees should contribute and work together to agree on the discussion points and lock them in ahead of your meeting.

WeThrive makes this easy with Intelligendas™, by enabling both parties to collaborate by dragging survey results and comments into an agenda. Book a demo.

Step 3: Find a suitable time to meet

Ensure that your managers and employees have plenty of time to reflect and can walk into their performance management review feeling confident, comfortable and prepared.

Avoid performance reviews directly after a long day of meetings when you or your people will need to quickly switch gears and try to be productive. Allow enough time to fully review the agenda ahead of time.

Step 4: Meet, discuss and confirm the next steps

During the meeting, all notes, goals, actions and next steps should be written down and saved to ensure that there is an auditable trail of everything discussed and agreed will continue to be actioned post-performance review.

WeThrive does this automatically to ensure that you, your managers and your employees no longer have to hunt around for review documents and next steps. Book a demo.

Build high-performance teams with WeThrive

WeThrive Perform gives busy managers instant access to feedback, performance management, action plans and learning resources, enabling them to skyrocket performance. Intelligendas™ transform the value you and your employees get from appraisals, check-ins and 1:1s.

Book a demo to see it in action or download our latest white paper to learn how to ace your performance management process in 7 easy steps.