It’s hard to maintain a growing, profitable business if you don’t have happy employees with your company’s best interests at heart. Contented staff will work cooperatively and think creatively to build your business, giving you a solid foundation for growth.

Performance management is all about making sure your staff are happy and motivated – and in tune with your strategic direction.

Based on our experience of working with organisations of all shapes and sizes across various industries, we’ve identified five key performance factors that pave the road to success.

Our model helps organisations understand their strategic direction, get their people on board for the journey, provide managers with the tools to deliver and ensure rewards are aligned with success.

Let’s look at this performance factors model in more detail.

1. Clear goals: Articulate what excellent performance looks like

Many organisations assume their workforce understands their strategic direction and objectives, but this doesn’t happen by magic.

In our experience, understanding tends to be fragmented at best, with employees naturally prioritising their particular function over the needs of the organisation as a whole. You therefore need to set clear goals that help employees put their individual functions within the context of achieving the company’s wider objectives.

2. People who care: Engage your employees

Setting goals isn’t enough: you have to inspire employees with your vision and mission so they are motivated to achieve those goals. You need to keep tabs on how engaged your employees are. This could be in the form of an annual survey, so you can identify areas that need motivating and can plan training accordingly.

3. Managers who manage: Develop leadership skills

Good management is crucial to your success, so you have to help both current and future managers improve.

Usually development takes the form of specific training events or direct coaching of line managers to help them develop specific people management skills.

4. Simple processes: Encourage performance improvement

Your aim is to boost productivity and motivation, so performance management should never be about bureaucracy. Everything you need to manage performance can fit on a single page of A4, so keep things simple and user friendly. You can even manage the whole thing online, so no one has to faff about with filing. Employees at all levels will be more engaged when it’s clear the process is easy and adds value.

5. Fair rewards: Incentivise achievement

It’s obvious, but nonetheless true, that people perform better when they care about what they’re doing. And they’re more likely to care if they feel their contribution is recognised, valued and rewarded. Make sure you have a fair and transparent reward strategy that incentivises employees to work towards the business’s strategic goals. And don’t forget: rewards aren’t just about salary increases. Simply training managers to give positive feedback can make a big difference to the company ethos.

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