Company culture is an X-factor that can either erode morale and employee engagement or multiply productivity and positively grow your business. A key component of company culture is performance management. You can monitor individual outputs and set goals, but even conservative efforts to improve productivity can cause a backlash when the culture behind it isn’t addressed as a priority. In addition to finding the right performance management technology, there are several ways to implement a performance management culture at your company.
Naturally, company culture can be difficult to address by small changes like adding policies to the employee handbook. Business casual attire is easy to define and enforce, but how do you manage positive attitudes and interdepartmental collaboration? Behavior change and culture adjustments will require multi-level planning and persistence. The good news is that most employees will recognize the benefits of being part of a positive, energizing workplace. Once there’s a visible change in company culture, many of your motivated and hard-working employees will feel personally invested to help maintain that momentum.
Here are several factors to consider when developing a performance management culture at your company.
Rally around a common goal
If you’re going to motivate employees to maintain a higher level of performance, you’ll need meaningful motivation. Financial incentives aren’t always sustainable, especially if the goal is continuous improvement year over year, but many of your employees already care greatly about the quality of work they perform. Whatever your industry, all departments and individual employees should see the relevance of their role and the final impact on the success of the company.
Employees have their individual deadlines and tasks, but it can be helpful to periodically remind everyone of the big picture: products and services provided by the company. When meetings and performance reviews relay positive feedback from clients and celebrate company milestones, individual employees can see how they contribute to a process much larger than themselves. Whether you want to improve granular results or the overall efficiency of in-house procedures, let the whole company participate in the problem-solving process, and they’ll be more motivated to succeed together.
Get employees involved in the assessment and improvement of existing procedures, and make sure they feel like their suggestions are being heard. With a better grasp of the overall system than their subordinates, your managers and team leaders may provide a sounding board for new ideas. Many of the initial suggestions will be impractical, but instead answering with a flat rejection, team leaders should look for opportunities to redirect the spirit behind the idea. When employees feel like they’re a valued part of the process, they’re more likely to cooperate with other changes for improving performance.
Develop employee talent
Especially with younger employees, you’ve probably noticed a drive to continue improving and learning new skills. From the outside, the enthusiasm for professional growth can sometimes resemble a lack of commitment to a single job or company. When there aren’t opportunities for advancement in-house, restless and ambitious employees will naturally look for jobs elsewhere. Does your company provide new challenges and opportunities for employees who remain with the company for several years? Rather than measuring success exclusively in terms of company deliverables and client satisfaction, think about how you’re developing the professional skill sets and abilities of your human resources. Employees who continue to learn and grow professionally are more motivated and satisfied in their jobs, even if their newly acquired skills don’t translate into raises or promotions.
Make sustainable changes
When trying to overhaul something as pervasive as the performance management culture of your company, try not to get too ambitious with the initial changes. Especially when you’re trying to address morale and productivity, a small sustainable change is better than a big program that flounders after a few weeks. How much time are you willing to invest in achieving the desired changes?
In order to redirect the whole culture of the company, the new attitude and priorities will need to be reflected in meetings and employee assessments for months into the future. Whether you’re rolling out a new set of company values or taking a public stand on social issues, employees will appreciate the persistence and commitment required to follow through with substantive changes.
After you’ve identified the ways in which your company can improve its culture, employee performance reviews provide opportunities to check in with employees and quantify change. Rather than focusing exclusively on conventional metrics for productivity, your review process can encompass collaboration, communication skills, and other data points that affect the whole workplace. When you’ve made performance management culture a priority, there should be a noticeable improvement in proactive attitudes across the workforce.