Performance Management is a subtle art. Managing a business or managing an employee is easier than managing the performance of employees as whole. Performance is less tangible to perceive. We measure it in terms of success or failure.
Evaluating the performance of an achiever is a pleasure. In the case of a failing employee, the assessment turns out to be a futile post mortem report. If prevention is better than cure, we need a preventive strategy for performance management. A combination of five effective steps can provide this preventive strategy.
1. Agreement, Not Imposition
Responsibility cannot be thrust on any person. We must explain the situation. We should present our ideas. After a discussion, we must motivate, convince and win the willingness and agreement of the persons who accept the responsibility.
2. Challenge, Not Burden
Very often work is considered as burden. Additional work is conceived as additional burden. New work is treated as new burden. Something must be done to remove this burden perception. Every work must be projected as challenge. Without this sugar coating of challenge, work becomes a bitter pill.
Human mind basically craves for thrills, excitement and challenges. Usually, employees search for this thrill outside their workplace. If the workplace itself provides the excitement, work becomes a pleasure. In such an environment, achievement can be almost guaranteed.
3. Bridging the Communication Gap
Communication experts have listed many problems as barriers to communication. These communication barriers also become performance barriers. Speaker says one thing and the listener understands something else. The writer means one thing but the reader understands something else.
William Empson has written a book called The Seven Types of Ambiguity. It means that seven types of misunderstandings are possible in human communication. So, the goal or task must be stated specifically and clearly. Vagueness will create problems on both sides.
Empty handed, nobody can achieve anything. Resources are necessary. It may be human resources or material sources. Advance provision of money for expenses is necessary. Sufficient number of assistants must be provided. Necessary equipment also must be arranged.
Performance management is not a spoon-feeding activity. It deals with grown up persons and mature persons. They do not need physical escort for each and every development. What they need is a guided empowerment. They should not be forced to wait for each and every transaction. To a certain extent, they must decide independently and intelligently to proceed in the right direction.
Thus, agreement, challenge, clarity, facility and empowerment will produce an advance strategy for assured success in Performance Management.