A Better Performance

May 5, 2011

Once-a-year feedback via the performance review isn’t cutting it anymore, and employers should take note. Career-focused employees are demanding continual feedback, clear expectations and open and honest communication. Here are some experts’ tips for designing a performance management plan to retain top talent.

• Be clear on what it takes to succeed. On a scale of 1 to 5, make sure employees understand what they need to do to get a 5.

• Provide ongoing training. Give managers the tools they need to improve their people management skills.

• Sync up performance guidelines for similar jobs. Get managers to talk with each other regularly about the criteria they used to rate their employees. If someone exceeds expectations, explain how.

Lori Holsinger, a principal at Mercer, a New York-based human resources consulting firm

    • Separate feedback from compensation. Make sure that employees see feedback as an opportunity to learn and improve, not to defend their performance.

• Provide real-time feedback. In a real-time world, it doesn’t make sense to wait six months for helpful advice on how you can improve.

• Make it social. Performance is about people, not process. Make it easy to get feedback from more than one person.

Daniel Debow, co-CEO and co-founder of Rypple, a performance management software developer in Toronto

• Conduct self-assessments. Employee self-appraisals allow both managers and employees to discuss differences in opinion or perspective and gain insight into expectations.

• Use 360-degree reviews. Getting feedback from colleagues can help managers avoid bias and get a different perspective on their employees’ performance.

• Provide career coaching. Make career development an integral part of performance management.

Sussane Bond, a director at Halogen Software Inc., an Ottawa, Canada-based software developer

Workforce Management, May 2011, p. 24 -- Subscribe Now!