Monday, December 17, 2007

Sustaining Employees' High Performance

Sustaining good calibre employees through enhancing their performance is becoming a hot issue nowadays. It is a non-stop management process that ensures a competitive edge for any organization. Here are some creative ideas to help us doing this.
1. Make Sure Employees’ Daily Efforts Contribute to Your Company’s Business Objectives
The first step in unlocking your company’s true potential is ensuring your employees understand how their specific job/role contributes to achieving your company’s business objectives. Without a consistent process of setting goals for each individual employee that map directly to your company’s objectives, they may be spending too much time on the wrong activities.
In fact, leading industry analysts estimate nearly 95% of workers are unaware of their company’s top objectives. And, that’s often because an effective process to communicate and track progress against these objectives does not exist. So how can your company expect its people to work toward a shared vision — and deliver bottom-line results — if they’re unclear what’s expected of them?
Establishing a formal process for creating relevant goals for each employee, and monitoring/measuring performance against company objectives, unquestionably results in both individual and company success. The benefits of this approach deliver a host of positive results, such as:
• Employees and managers achieve more — through greater visibility into both individual and company-wide goals.
• Employees and managers see the goal plan — and understand how their individual goals fit into the company’s business objectives.
• Creating shared employee responsibility — by cascading his or her goals with others in the company.
• Managers more easily stay in touch with employees’ progress — during every phase of goal completion, and offer immediate reinforcement or coaching to keep performance and deadlines on track.
Keep in mind your success in aligning employee and company goals depends on an open and ongoing dialogue with management. This is the only way to ensure business strategy is woven in to all HR efforts, including an automated proces.

2. Keep Employees Energized and Engaged
Jack Welch, former CEO of GE — and one of the most respected business leaders of our time — wrote the book on motivating people. One of his key insights to driving phenomenal performance shows how much faith Mr. Welch had in the power of engaging and inspiring people; in a nutshell, he believed the ultimate goal of managing is not to get an employee to perform as expected, but to have them willingly go above and beyond the call of
duty — because they want to. Building a culture in which employees are energized and engaged to perform at maximum levels (and beyond) requires both strong management skills, and
a consistent process for providing accurate, quality feedback. Easier said than done, of course. But recent progress in HR-software designed specifically to address this challenge is helping significantly. There are now effective means like writing assistants and coaching tools that can significantly improve the overall quality of feedback, and help managers provide:
• More relevant reviews — writing and goal management tools help
managers deliver meaningful, accurate reviews so employees understand
their performance against goals.
• Richer, more meaningful feedback — built-in writing tools ensure
consistency between managers, and deliver a deeper level of feedback.
• Stronger, more relevant coaching — managers receive specific,
actionable suggestions for coaching employees through a range of issues.
Ultimately, quality feedback is what keeps your employee’s head in the game
and can be used to inspire and fire them up. It also increases job satisfaction
and reduces turnover — two critical factors that most small- to mid-sized
businesses say they are concerned with on a daily basis.

3. Develop, Implement and Reinforce a Pay-for-Performance Culture
The importance of having the best people in key areas is critical to the success of your business. It’s no secret the key to retaining the best and brightest talent is recognizing and compensating top performers. According to Giga Information Group, retention can be improved by meritocratic management — or pay-for-performance — by up to 27%. Establishing a pay-for-performance culture is considered the #1 tool for achieving financial results by senior executives. Today’s HR technologies now give managers easy access to all the information they need to reward individuals for actual performance — 360 degree feedback, goal alignment
metrics, review data and performance notes taken throughout the year. This allows managers to make consistent, quantifiable and fair decisions,
and avoid compensating the wrong people. Other positive benefits include the ability to:
• Track employee progress against performance goals.
• Identify who is delivering against expectations, and contributing the most.
• Improve ongoing job satisfaction, productivity and retention by recognizing and rewarding exceptional effort.
• Avoid overcompensating by seeing where compensation and performance are not aligned.

4. Automate Performance Management from Start To Finish
Technology designed specifically to help organizations manage and optimize employee performance has advanced considerably over the years. Yet it’s interesting to note that most companies still rely on paper-based processes and outdated performance management methods. By adopting a system that manages the entire employee lifecycle — from performance assessment to goal alignment to employee retention — it’s safe to say automation can truly transform your business.
A tangible example of how automation pays off can be seen in the massive improvements around performance reviews. Once a source of great pain and often viewed as a waste of time, performance reviews have been converted by HR technology into a simple, cost-effective process. The result: managers are freed to up to focus on the tasks that are most meaningful—and critical—to achieving company goals. This clearly illustrates how both employee and
company-wide performance potential can be unlocked by HR automation.
Here are other key benefits your company can realize by automating performance management:
• Easily implement performance management best practices
• Increase goal visibility and boost shared accountability
• Use data more effectively to gain powerful insights
about company performance
• Ensure compliance and employee participation
• Eliminate paperwork hassles
• Improve feedback quality and strengthen management skills
• Save time
• Give employees honest, objective, and open feedback
• Improve your bottom line

A final thought to help you raise employee (and overall company) performance: HR professionals in organizations of all sizes consistently report that providing their management with visibility into HR achievements is essential. Your managers need quantitative and qualitative information to support your strategic decisions about human capital. And just as
sales or marketing must justify technology investments in light of business strategy, HR must also learn to do the same.

1 comment:

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