Is this the way to manage employees out or manage employees up?

At a business meeting this week, an HR professional suggested that, in his mind, performance management was linked to how to “manage an employee out of the organisation”.

This mindset is, no doubt not an uncommon one, perpetuated by poor and unwieldy performance management or “performance appraisal” systems and the need to provide evidence to “manage an employee out”.

From Maxumise perspective, what is lacking is an understanding of the power of a good performance management system which is used as a tool to empower and develop staff.  We have seen these work miracles.

How you ask?

To begin with measuring and reporting on anything regularly creates change, just ask Jenny Craig!  Set some achievable and meaningful goals, measure and report on these regularly, support and motivate the people, and miracles can occur.

The same process can be applied to any organisation.

Look at the strategic goals for your organisation and set some performance measures in place to achieve these.

Make the measures realistic and achievable, with a little stretch added. Using some well sourced benchmarks can assist to set good measures, ensuring achievable targets.  Good measures are ones that are well defined and unambiguous in terms of how they will be measured.  They will also state the scope of the measure e.g. the team, department, individual etc.  They will be easy to obtain; a measure that takes more time to collect the information than it is worth is not a good measure.

Make sure that the people are in control of the outcome of the performance measure.  It is no good setting a measure which a person cannot directly influence the outcome.  For example: the receptionist has no influence over the number or quality of widgets produced, but they do have influence over customer satisfaction.  Show good leadership; ask your staff if they know of anything that might stop them achieving these goals.

Measure the achievement of these goals.

Measure the progress of the goals regularly – just like stairsthe coloured charts used to show how much money has been donated to fund the local soccer club’s new hall. Put the figures in a prominent place; the lunch room, on the stair rises.  Discuss the achievements at team meetings and with individuals.

Support and built competence.

If you set the measures correctly and allow your staff to determine how they will achieve the goals, you empower them.  They should be able to come to you to discuss issues and ask for suggestions to improve their performance.  As a leader, you become the motivator, coach and mentor, not the judge and jury.  Use the system not to manage employees out, but to manage employees up.  Build competence in your people and watch the confidence develop and your business results improve. As one employee we coached stated “I don’t need to be a bastard anymore. I know what my job is and what I need to do to achieve the goals”.

Reward results

Reward people for achieving results. Whilst money may be one way to say thank you, being acknowledged and reminded frequently that you are meeting or exceeding the goals has a profound impact.

There is nothing as simple as recognition to boost employee engagement and impact profitability.

See the miracles work

Set some measures, report and discuss achievements and reward result.

You too can see these work miracles.


For more information contact Anna Underhill or +61 (0)411361156