We all know that employees are our company and that we are only as good as our employees’ performance. Our company is not only the products we sell, but it’s how we sell the products. It’s not only the customer service we offer, but how we offer the service. And it’s not only the widgets we manufacture, but it’s how well we manufacture those widgets.
So let’s agree that performance is the key to overall company success; the key to making a profit, the key to retaining customers and the key to gaining new ones. So when should you seriously consider using an employee performance management system to manage all the activity?
The 5 Signs:
1. Visibility is an issue:
Last year I could reach out and touch every manager in my department who would give me performance updates for our monthly meetings. This year, my managers are struggling to get that clarity. Our departments have grown and managers are now managing 40 employees instead of 10. We also broadened our talent search and have added remote positions. I’m starting to lose my view of who does what and when it’s completed.
2. Annual reviews are 12 months too late
Last year when I did John’s review, I rated him as outstanding. He came through for us when we really needed him. With the additional staff I’ve been managing, more of my time has been spent making sure the new employees are up to speed. I didn't even notice that John’s performance was slipping until I sat down to do his annual review. John and I used to have daily conversations about projects. He had direct access to me and I was able to coach him one-on-one.
3. Performance reporting lags behind
Every month, like clockwork, executive management received my reports on production, errors, milestones, issues and even new idea my employees may have suggested. I only managed 15 employees then. Now our company has added new lines of business and that’s led to new employees, increased training needs, more office space, and a large list of new things to monitor and measure.
It takes me weeks just to get ready for the monthly meetings. I pull data from five different systems and I’m finding it increasingly difficult to analyze everything. By the time I get everything pulled into one report, there’s a month’s lag time.
4. There is no perceived value in the review process
My employees think the annual review is a joke. The feeling is that reviews aren’t based on performance and goals achieved. Employee ratings are based on who gets the most manager-time. Those who are out of sight are also out of mind.
And, what happened to the annual raises? Employee feedback: Why give me a review at all if I’m not going to get a salary increase?
5.Employee retention has become a problem
Well, John quit last month. He was with us for 6 years. He grew up with the company. He had company knowledge that will take months for someone else to learn. And, now I have three more resignations on my desk. Want to know what my employees said in their exit interviews?
- I wanted my good performance to be recognized and rewarded.
- I wanted to contribute at a higher level. I needed to know my purpose.
- I wanted more training to keep my skills current.
- I wanted to be paid fairly for the work I do.
“All organizations are perfectly designed to get the results they are now getting. If we want different results, we must change the way we do things.” - Tom Northup, author, Five Hidden Mistakes CEO’s Make. How to Unlock the Secrets That Drive Growth and Profitability
If your company has these 5 signs, it’s time for you to start looking at a performance management system that provides clear visibility; creates reports that give you performance insights in real time; brings credibility and reliability to your review process; lets you reward your high performers; and helps you coach and train those who need help to succeed.