In my past experience, performance management strategies have increasingly been dreaded and criticized for being too complicated. Often I’ve heard people say “there are too many forms to fill in” or “this is so much work and there are too many issues to address.”  One of the common misperceptions is that an entire year of an employee’s progress and challenges has to be crammed into one meeting at performance review time. However, successful performance management is about tracking development, working towards goals continually, and addressing things as they come along throughout the entire year. Managing one’s performance should be on-going, throughout the year. Here are some suggestions to keep in mind that help simplify this process:

  • A solid understanding of the performance strategy that your company uses is crucial. At the core of every successful strategy is a leadership team who understands the performance management plan and believes it’s valuable and worth it. You will never have your employees engaged in the process if you as the leader have no faith in the system.
  • Managers need to be able to plan effectively using SMART objectives. For more information on the SMART goal setting process, visit this link The goals that you set should align with the organization’s overall vision and goals, but can be broken down into smaller objectives.  If the goals are not clear and relevant then it’s hard for employees to be successful in achieving them and it begins to cause frustration and demotivation.
  • The way we deliver feedback effectively and efficiently is also important. For example, a manager gives you very old feedback, it comes across very abrupt and when you asked to clarify, there was no provided back up. In your mind, you’re thinking: “This has already been dealt with.” Or, “obviously if the meeting is starting with this and its negative, I cannot be doing anything correct in my job.” When the feedback loses its relevance and demoralizes employees, it is not productive for anyone.
  • It’s best to use current information and provide examples when addressing challenges. As well, if you are giving feedback on an on-going basis with your employee, there really shouldn’t be many challenges to address. One idea to help ensure consistency in communication is to hold regular weekly or monthly one-on-one meetings. This is a way to build trust with your employee so that that he/she feels you have put time and effort into them and their work. After all, it is their performance you are dealing with and most people take it very seriously.
  • Also, keep in mind “How would I want this feedback presented to me?” The more you know your employee, the easier it is to conduct a positive meeting. You may approach a more sensitive employee much different than an employee who is aggressive in nature.  There should never be any surprises in the review. Employees should also be encouraged to ask for feedback when they feel they need it.
  • Last but not least, don’t forget to recognize and acknowledge your employee for a job well done. Take this as an opportunity for you to increase the motivation in your employee by giving tasks and projects to work on going forward as well as recognizing things they’ve already achieved. Performance management is defined as the management of employees, departments, and organizations to ensure that goals and objectives are being reached efficiently and effectively.

Contact your PEO Canada HR Advisor to get more information on ways to make your performance management process more enjoyable.

Laura Livingston / HR Advisor / PEO Canada