Performance Management: Is It Really Necessary?

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performance-managementAre your employees performing to your expectations?  If not, do you know why?  Better yet, do they know why?  How clearly defined are your expectations, and what tools do you provide employees to be able to meet your expectations?

Often, employers hire a new employee who interviews well, has a great attitude, and comes across as a team player.  However, after a couple of weeks or months of observation, the employer is disappointed in the choice he or she made in hiring this new team member.  The individual may have interviewed well, and answered detailed questions about past job responsibilities in a manner that indicated he or she was the best choice for the organization, but later fails to meet the employer’s expectations.

Shared responsibility for success

We may be quick to think that employees must have embellished their past job experience in an effort to “land” a job when in fact, we should look first at the tools we provided them to succeed in their new roles.  Did you provide a job description detailing their duties and responsibilities and performance expectations?

When you identified that they were not performing to your expectations, did you ask if there was anything they needed to help them better perform their jobs?  Did you do a 30-day performance review and identify the areas that you felt needed improvement and provide guidance on those expectations, along with a timeline?

Performance reviews, job descriptions set expectations

Employers need to recognize that both job descriptions and performance reviews are invaluable tools not only to their new staff members, but to the company as well. By providing employees with job descriptions, you have given them a detailed description of what their job functions are, as well as the corresponding performance expectations.

Meeting with an employee at incremental times to evaluate his or her performance may seem like a waste of valuable time at that moment, but it pales in comparison to starting the recruiting process again and training another new employee. In the end, if you have provided your employee with the expectations of his or her role and you have given guidance by way of performance review, if it doesn’t work out then you are well documented on why it was necessary to terminate the employee.

You want your employees to be invested in their jobs and the company’s success, so you must also be sure to invest in your employees by communicating clearly, setting expectations, and providing feedback in the form of regular performance evaluations.  A little time invested initially may save you a lot of money down the line.

Working with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) or HR Outsourcing firm gives you access to a wealth of HR expertise that can help with performance management, job descriptions, employee handbooks, discipline, documentation and more.

Contact the author directly at amber.dotts@staffone.com. This is the ninth post in our 30 Days of HR Outsourcing series. Visit us each day in November for information on HR, payroll, benefits, workers’ comp and risk management topics, or subscribe to be notified instantly when a new post is published.

Photo copyright: James Leach