One important aspect of most HR department operations is performance management. HR’s role is to manage tasks associated with your workforce. Your people are one of the most valuable assets your business has, which is why it’s so important they be managed effectively.
Your HR staff will look after everything from hiring and onboarding to employee development and performance reviews. HR is likely also involved in benefits administration and payroll, among other tasks.
In recent years, there has been much discussion about employee engagement, productivity, and performance. These things are all linked together. More engaged employees are more productive and turn in better performance. In many cases, performance management plays a key role in engagement and motivation for your employees.
Just how does performance management impact your employees’ motivation? You’ll want to consider the following.
What Is Performance Management?
Employee performance is a major concern for most HR departments, so you may already be familiar with the concept. Essentially, it’s the art of managing your employees to turn in better performance. This includes keeping top performers productive and engaged as well as motivating those who are underperforming.
Your job in HR is to monitor employee performance, communicate feedback to the employee, and help them develop a strategy to improve their performance. You want to not only motivate but also enable underperformers to rise to the next level.
Performance management consists of several tasks. The most obvious one is feedback for the employee, often delivered in a performance review. You monitor the employee’s performance, including their productivity and successes. Then you supply feedback. You’ll also provide training opportunities, discuss career goals, and help the employee develop a plan to improve in areas where they may be underperforming.
How Does It Impact Employee Motivation?
Generally speaking, performance management impacts employee motivation. The question is how it impacts motivation for your employees. Often, the impact depends on how performance itself is managed.
An employee who receives constructive criticism mixed with praise and receives assistance when strategizing for performance improvement is more likely to become motivated. If you discuss feedback with employees, they’ll be more likely to accept it and incorporate ideas. Express a desire to help, and strategize with the employee. Help them devise a plan that feels achievable.
By contrast, when performance management is handled less positively, employees may actually find it demotivating. If feedback is overwhelmingly negative and doesn’t illustrate where the employee can improve, the employee may disengage. If you don’t offer help in creating a plan to improve performance, the employee may feel lost and become demotivated.
How Can You Improve Performance Management?
It should be clear performance management is important. Of course, the truly important part of performance management is looking to how you deliver it within your company. A positive performance management process will motivate your employees more effectively.
How can you improve performance management in your company then? There are several easy things you can do. One is to shift the focus of feedback. Focus less on what an employee did “wrong” and more how they can improve in an area of weakness. Offering training and development opportunities and making appropriate suggestions to employees about career development are other good ideas.
If you’re already using a human resource information system, improving your performance management activities is even easier. Use the HRIS to track employee performance and deliver real-time feedback to your employees. Again, try to keep a positive outlook. Offer praise for a job well done, and offer advice and feedback for future improvements.
Improving performance management will improve your employees’ motivation. It empowers them to develop goals and reach them. If you want more motivated employees, take a look at your performance management processes.