You’ve spent time and money on finding and employing the right people. How do you now identify, measure and develop key employees as part of formal performance management systems within your business?
A successful performance management system provides an essential framework for how managers and employees operate and ideally incorporates performance targets, development of teams and behaviour management to ensure productive working relationships.
In a nutshell, it is a documented strategy which provides clarity of goals to pursue, what it takes to succeed and how that is measured.
Why Performance Management is Important
For businesses to succeed in today’s competitive environment it is important to accurately evaluate and measure performance against meaningful criteria.
This ensures strategic objectives can be achieved, stakeholder needs are met and there is a positive impact on the business’ bottom line, with potential for growth.
As such, many businesses recognise the need for a strategy to improve how they identify, measure and develop key employees.
For the business, this means having systematic processes for sustainability in helping achieve business goals at scale, and for the long term, while ensuring staff are empowered to succeed.
For the employee, talent identification and performance management helps staff take ownership of their path to success, keeps them engaged, learning and contributing towards personal and company goals.
The key benefits are an engaged workforce and improved productivity and efficiency across all business functions.
How to Identify Talented Employees
The first step is to work with your human resources department (if you have one) or key managers to develop a clearly defined strategy for developing and managing employees.
This initially involves identifying and documenting what your business considers ‘best practice’ characteristics such as competencies and behaviours that are important in achieving business goals. For example, these may include:
- A positive attitude
- An analytical approach
- Effective communication skills
- Customer focus
- Ability to build strong workplace relationships
- Leadership skills
- Job expertise and education
- Problem-solving skills
Next, determine a scale or process of how you will measure performance against the ‘best practice’ characteristics and behaviours you have outlined. Establish a benchmark and define individual employee competencies and shortfalls.
Conduct a training needs analysis to determine your employee skill levels against the business’ required skill levels. The difference between the two is your training gap.
Training and Performance Management Implementation
Once you have identified best practice competencies and training shortfalls, provide employees with structured training programs that are customised to their job roles and aimed at developing desired skills.
This could be offered through training courses, conferences, networking, coaching and mentoring, relief roles or special projects, among others.
Clearly communicate performance expectations, best practice characteristics and set mutually agreed goals to review as part of performance appraisals.
Implement a structured performance appraisal program including development tracking and 360-degree feedback (ie using feedback and assessment from multiple sources during 12 monthly appraisals) to ensure goals are being achieved.
Importantly, for talent identification and performance management to be effective, managers also need to understand the process and align with business decision-making benchmarks.
CEOs and managers may first need training to efficiently implement a talent identification and development program for their business or organisation.
Retaining talented employees can be a challenge. A formal performance management system can help with employee retention and job satisfaction while also boosting business performance.
No matter your business size, development of high-performance leaders and fostering employee motivation is a fundamental practice to achieving business goals.
If you haven’t implemented a formal talent identification and performance management system, make 2018 the year you start building a high-performance culture to benefit your business.
Founder of Toward Music, Jayde is a scripturient with a consuming passion to write. With 12 years experience as a freelance music journalist, she’s also a dedicated writer in the business industry with an undying love for typewriters & street press.