Posts Tagged ‘alignment’
Managers are inundated with a high volume of information and required to make multiple decisions daily. It is often difficult to be fair and consistent in decisions when the manager is operating on a reactive rather than proactive basis.
Performance management gives managers a specific set of parameters to make decisions and act in an active rather than passive mode. This allows them to take the initiative by making quick and effective decisions that positively impact their unit’s efficiency, profitability and overall performance.
Managers who utilize an effective performance management process and program will find that rather than complicate their lives, their jobs are made much easier. Decision-making is greatly simplified by performance management, as it provides a specific set of established parameters with which to make consistent and focused decisions that move the unit forward to the achievement of its goals. These parameters include:
Alignment of Goals and Objectives
The overall purpose of performance management is the alignment of unit/department goals and activities with the overall goals and objectives of the company.
The role of the manager is to ensure that all goals and activities of his or her individual employees directly contribute to the overall success of the unit. In this capacity, the manager establishes the individual goals and targets to assure that the overall objectives are obtained. Once this has been accomplished, any decisions to be made regarding the performance of individual employees must be made with each of their goals in mind. Managers are able to make decisions to ensure that every action and activity an employee makes advances him or her toward the accomplishment of their unit’s goals.
This decision-making parameter prevents individual employees from becoming “loose cannons,” ignoring their unit and company goals and performing in a way they view as expedient. It keeps the employees in line and focused. It also allows managers to fairly and consistently manage and evaluate individual performance against overall team goals.
Focus on the Target Market
Most corporate goals and objectives are designed to move a company forward, while maximizing the utilization of human and physical resources to enhance productivity, efficiency and profitability. In this pursuit, companies are increasingly gearing specific products and services to profitable niche markets where they can gain a competitive advantage.
The use of performance management techniques allows managers to redefine or refine the target market so that it is aligned with the objectives established by senior management. As a decision-making parameter, managers can guide and direct employees through plans to better focus their efforts on these intended niche markets.
As markets are increasingly more competitive, rapid changes and shifts in marketing strategies are often required. The use of performance management criteria allows managers to shift their people’s focus and ensure all decisions they make are consistent with this impetus.
The company’s mission statement, goals and objectives provide guidance to the manager and the basis for their performance management program. Additionally, these provide managers with specific parameters with which to guide and direct their own actions and those of their employees, while also giving them the guidance they need when making decisions. There will be times when senior management may need to clarify issues and concerns, but the progression of goals and objectives should flow smoothly from senior management to the individual employee.
Benchmarks for Performance
One of the keystones of performance management is the ability to benchmark the individual work of each employee. These provide managers with the tools to monitor and evaluate performance as well as the basis for any decisions and actions that must be made.
The specific performance of an employee influences all decisions a manager makes concerning that individual. An employee performing at a high level will be given more leeway in the decisions made about him or her since results are being produced. A poorly performing individual will have more stringent decisions made about him or her.
Pinpointing Performance Problems
The use of specific metrics in a performance management program allows managers to make decisions regarding performance breakdowns. Initially, it allows the manager to pinpoint problems and take the proper corrective actions to immediately rectify them before they become a major issue.
Providing Focused Feedback
Performance management allows managers to make decisions and focus their feedback on issues directly related to the achievement of the individual employees goals and objectives. Any other issues distracting the employee that don’t contribute to the unit or department’s performance can be quickly and effectively handled and eliminated.
Excerpt: Performance Management: Pinpoint Management Skill Development Training Series (Majorium Business Press, 2011)
If you would like to learn more about how to use performance management techniques to increase results, refer to Performance Management: Pinpoint Management Skill Development Training Series. This training skill-pack features eight key interrelated concepts, each with their own discussion points and training activity. It is ideal as an informal training tool for coaching or personal development. It can also be used as a handbook and guide for group training discussions. Click here to learn more.
Timothy F. Bednarz, Ph.D. | Author | Publisher | Majorium Business Press
Author of Great! What Makes Leaders Great: What They Did, How They Did It and What You Can Learn From It
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Copyright © 2012 Timothy F. Bednarz, All Rights Reserved
The application of performance management aligns all employees with the overall goals of the company. This enables each employee to understand both their role in the organization and how their efforts contribute to its success, as well as to work toward the mutual accomplishment of those goals.
The manager has an important role to play in the formation of a performance management program for his or her people. Goals must be clarified and clearly communicated, and the behaviors of the individual employees must be aligned in order to achieve the desired outcomes.
This is important for managers to appreciate as performance management demands not only time and patience to properly implement, but superior communication skills to close the informational gaps between the desires of senior management as expressed in their plans and the actual behaviors and efforts exhibited by employees.
Managers will find that once they are able to effectively close these gaps and clearly communicate established company goals to their people and align their behaviors accordingly, their programs will work very efficiently to produce a more productive unit.
The role of the manager in performance management is to clearly communicate the company’s goals, align their individual employees’ behavior with them and monitor performance. This includes:
Research has shown that differences in overall performance among individual employees are directly proportional to the level of internal clarity in which goals and objectives are presented to them. This is because when goals are communicated and clarified, employees have a clear understanding of what needs to be done and how to do it, and they are unified in the pursuit of that goal.
Many managers can either get strategic goals intermingled with more tactical operational goals or have entirely too many “top priorities.” This blurs their focus and leads to a lack of clarity. It is the manager’s responsibility to narrow the focus of their priorities and limit their number to as little as five. They should also see that individual employees do the same thing. This assures that all are focused and crisp in their execution. Additionally, too many priorities scatters the individual efforts of the unit or department in a variety of unmanageable directions, ensuring that goals and desired outcomes will not be achieved.
Good execution only happens when an employee’s behavior is aligned with the company’s goals. Many managers fail to align their people with company objectives because they don’t know how to talk to them about change and poor performance. Additionally, many managers won’t align their employees because they find it uncomfortable to challenge them and give them candid feedback or don’t realize that successful execution will never happen without ongoing performance dialogue.
When employees understand how their work fits into overall company goals, they will appreciate how they need to align themselves with these efforts and make the appropriate adjustments in behavior. These changes in execution are not possible without performance feedback from the manager.
Quite often the only feedback many employees receive over the course of the year is regarding how they are performing against their stated sales goals. It is important for managers to create the linkages between the individual employee and the company so that he or she can see not only how they fit in but also how their efforts are contributing to the company’s overall success.
Numerous studies have shown that when employees clearly understand how they fit into the organization and see how their efforts contribute to the company’s success, they are substantially more motivated and productive.
Managers should open up the channels of communication to their people—who oftentimes feel isolated from the company to begin with—in order to build a sense of community so that they can see how their efforts are part of the company’s overall success.
Proper Acknowledgment of Progress Toward Goals
Managers must ensure that they encourage employee behaviors that are consistent with the company’s goals. Employees’ behavior is easily modified by a change in how their efforts are acknowledged. They will do what produces the most recognition and positive reinforcement.
Excerpt: Performance Management: The Pinpoint Management Skill Development Training Series (Majorium Business Press, 2011) $ 18.95 USD
If you would like to learn more about performance management techniques, refer to Performance Management: The Pinpoint Management Skill Development Training Series. This training skill-pack features eight key interrelated concepts, each with their own discussion points and training activity. It is ideal as an informal training tool for coaching or personal development. It can also be used as a handbook and guide for group training discussions. Click here to learn more.
Copyright © 2011 by Timothy F. Bednarz, All Rights Reserved