When most managers think of performance management they think of annual reviews and how time consuming they are. There is often a tendency to put them off or not do them at all. Many practices have not provided training to their managers on how to deliver a meaningful performance review and this results in managers feeling ill-equipped and unprepared. There is also an aversion to the possibility of having to have a difficult conversation with an underperforming employee.
While some businesses are able to perform well without having a performance plan in place, there is much evidence and data that shows that when an employer has a well-designed and implemented performance program they experience a variety of benefits which include:
- Lower rates of turnover
- More highly engaged staff
- Higher levels of productivity
- Lower rates of absenteeism
- Less time dealing with employee relations issues
The big question for all employers right now is why is a performance management plan more important now than ever before? The answer is simple, we are conducting business in a new reality where many people are working remotely. This has impacted how leaders lead and how people are managed. For those who are required to work in an office setting, there are different challenges. They are dealing with very strict health and safety protocols and guidelines in the workplace as well as increased exposure to others. These days whether you’re working remotely or in an office setting, everyone is faced with adapting to new ways of interacting with one another. Current research shows that this is contributing to higher levels of stress and anxiety for many workers.
Many practices are moving to a continuous performance plan that provides their employees with regular performance feedback, coaching and support. This can include a formal annual review but more often it consists of smaller informal mini-reviews and coaching sessions throughout the year.
Employees now more than ever in this “socially distant” world need additional information and support from their employers. They need to feel connected, valued and engaged, they want to understand how their work is contributing to the overall success of your practice.