When businesses start out, the priority is usually on gaining customers, retaining clients, and generating greater income to help the business grow. Once the business has a sustainable income, they begin to expand and recruit employees to cope with the increase in demand. It is important from this early stage to use a solid recruitment process to get the right person in place. It is also crucial that employees are put on probationary periods with well-defined performance measures in place. Doing this provides the tools to address issues in the early days, rather than allow poor performance and behaviours to become embedded over time. There are three steps to ensuring well defined performance management measures:
1. Define the Role
Defining a role is the first stage in beginning to develop performance management. Without knowing what the role is responsible for and does on a regular basis, it is hard to know what to measure. A role description outlines the responsibilities of the role, along with the person specification which details the key personal skills and attributes needed for the role.
2. Set the Standards
Setting standards is a really important element in managing performance. No two people are the same. Everyone has different ways of doing things and work to differing standards.
- Mapping out processes provides the baseline order for work to be completed in a consistent way.
- Standards sit behind the processes, explaining to an employee exactly what to do and the required level.
Without defining either of these, there is no baseline to measure an employee’s performance against. Even if employees are told what they should do and to the standard required, what happens if they forget? What if they leave and someone new starts? How do you know that new employee has been given the right information? Having standards documented solves these issues. Process Maps and Standards are also great for inducting new employees. It provides them with documents to refer to and will help them settle into their new role quicker, knowing what is expected of them.
3. Collect the Data
The performance of some roles can be measured using data. Where this is the case, it is good to have a mixture of performance measures; some data based, others non-data based. Data can provide good evidence of how a person is performing. If you are not sure what data to collate to measure performance, measuring quantity and quality of work can be a good place to start.
- Quantity of work is usually the easiest out of these two to capture. It measures how much work has been processed in a certain timeframe.
- Quality of work can be trickier. This is because it can often factor different elements, such as feedback from customers, quality checks or spot checks.
Data collection and analysis can take time to perfect; it is important to regularly review how data is collated to ensure it is an accurate measure of performance. It can be beneficial to involve team members in discussions around how performance data can be captured. The more involved team members are in the process, the easier it will be to get them on board when the measures are implemented.
If you are looking to implement a well-defined performance management system for your team and need help getting processes mapped, standards in place and data collated, VBSS can support. We specialise in helping businesses move their business forward for growth by looking at unifying processes, maximising customers and analysing data. We offer a free 60-minute consultation which provides you with clear next steps for moving your business forward. Get in touch.