Performance Management – aligning your business by cascading objectives
The purpose of performance management is to align the performance of your people with the business goals that you want to achieve. The more effectively we do this, the more efficiently your organisation will operate. However, in our experience this activity is rarely done effectively, if at all in the businesses that stand to benefit the most – those with about 35-200 employees. Typically, these businesses are managed operationally by the senior management team and a key part of leveraging more from the existing resource is making this critical annual step to align and cascade key business objectives (and manage performance against these – but that is a topic for another blog!)
This critical performance management topic is so important that we have recorded a short video to support with it: http://youtu.be/IdDARbZkVyE, however in a nutshell:
- At board level, decide 4- 6 strategic goals for the year. If the ultimate one is a financial goal, go down a level by asking what the main driver of that result could be in each of your business areas e.g. Sales – New business acquisition; Customer Service – Retention rate; Manufacturing – Lean or productivity metrics.
- Make them SMART and visible to the management level below
- Ask these staff “How can your department help to achieve this?” Help them to define SMART targets for their area
- Ensure the departmental targets are cascaded the remaining levels to become individual targets by discussing “What can you do to support this departmental/strategic goal”
- Document and manage individual performance against these goals over the course of the year…… and that’s all there is to it!
If you think that you haven’t got time to do this remember that goal setting is proven to increase clarity, productivity and motivation, can you really afford for 80% of your organisation to be without clear direction? Without clear goals, people will either coast, look elsewhere or make up their own which may not be in the direction that you want them to be.
Take a look at our video which shares some real examples of how to align and cascade effectively and go for it!