Friday, July 31, 2015

Managing Performance In Your Business


Recently there has been widespread reporting that large organisations are now promoting the idea that yearly or half-yearly performance reviews are best abandoned as not being useful.

It seems that the type of performance appraisal out of favour is one where employees are graded yearly by a manager who doesn't work with them directly and uses the exercise as an excuse to find find fault with the employee.  If anyone is still operating this way then stopping such a ritual is probably a good idea. It does seem a strange thing to ever have been doing. 

Unfortunately, outside of large corporate environments, many businesses have no procedure for managing performance effectively.

Instead of creating a stressful situation, you can make performance management an integral part of the way the business operates, keep productivity high and stop any activity that is not benefiting the business, right where it starts.  This is a chance to get the very best from the employees at work in the business.

That means building performance discussions and feedback into the everyday way the company operates. 


 Making the most of the potential within the workplace


Done well, it can be an ongoing part of your relationship with employees to track their progress, recognize their accomplishments, notice where they are struggling and provide some remedial assistance as it is needed, to encourage the best performance from those who report to you. This is a fabulous opportunity to develop a winning and supportive culture that generates excellent results. 

Good procedures – written – make life much easier for employees to do the right thing and know what that is.

For the business owner a documented procedure for managing performance makes life far easier and less stressful around managing employees.


Why manage performance

Improving operations allows the business to stay competitive and to ensure employees and managers are performing to the highest standards, opens the way to increased productivity, engaged employees who will go 'the extra mile', and ensure that employees want to stay with the company.

Employee turnover is disruptive and expensive. Ineffective employees are also expensive and can erode the profitability of the business.

Start with an appraisal of the business performance

Before you look at the performance of employees, it is perhaps worth considering the performance of the business as it exists right now. 


Current Position

Review the current position in your business. 

Are good systems in place already? 

Do they need updating? 
Do employees have the tools they need to do their work efficiently?
Are tasks and responsibilities for all roles documented? 
Is there a clear and specific reporting protocol that everyone understands exactly who they are supervising and to whom they report? 
Are employees undergoing regular training to develop their skills and allow the business to benefit from this improvement? 
Overall, are the operations being carried out more skillfully and with less disruption than the year before? 

Being able to track the progress of the business over time and identify issues that are causing problems, work needing to be redone, or work not being won, means optimizing the potential the business is capable of achieving. And that relates directly to the bottom line profit. 


Employees need clear instructions and boundaries of where their responsibility begins and ends.  They cannot be expected to read the mind of the owner of the business, or the manager. 


Needs of employees and business need to be met

Employees also need the right tools to carry out their role and meet their commitments to the job efficiently

Waiting around for a computer that has poor memory and a dismal signal on the internet is not helping them be productive. Neither is being forced to use old programs that cannot do what can be easily done now with modern applications in a fraction of the time. 

Your business needs to be efficient, to be consistent in delivery of your product or service to customers or clients. 

It needs whatever it needs to operate at peak efficiency and effectiveness including well trained employees - and managers and director whose own professional development is keeping pace with this very dynamic marketplace. 


Recognition of good employee performance 


While many companies are ready to pounce on poor performance, it is often the employees doing the right thing and excelling at their work who never get noticed at all. 

Adopting a management style set to catch people doing good - and acknowledging it - is a good start to improve morale and gain useful insight into what's happening in the business. 

Business owners often think that the only reward people want is money but that is shown over and over in studies, to not be the case. A financial bonus or pay rise may be indicated in some cases for continued good performance, but that's over and above the regular recognition and acknowledgment that people appreciate. We hate it when we are dismissed and overlooked. Just as we love it when someone notices that we go the extra mile, or have a willing attitude. Thank you goes a long way and this impresses not just the person involved but also the other employees who see they are working in a business that notices and respects them and their good work. 

How can you implement a system in your business to give recognition to good employees?

How well the business performing for the employees

It's all well and good when employees are doing great work and the business is booming. It's not so good when the benefits are all going out of the business and not improving their lot. 

In some business, owners splash about a lot of cash on personal items that the staff hear about while they are starved of the resources and tools they need in the business, and penny pinching is going on that keeps them from improving their own financial situation. 

That's not a good look and can build resentment and lead to bad attitudes and even misconduct. 

Steps to managing performance 


You want your business to operate like the best.  Those are the businesses that are constantly improving their operations to stay competitive in their industry. Employees and managers need to be performing to a high standard for that to happen.


High performance in business means benefits such as:

  • increased productivity
  • engaged and committed employees
  • good employees are retained
  • less wasted cost from staff turnover
Employees performing poorly can result affect the business in many ways, including leading to unhappy customers or clients, decreased productivity, high turnover and even demotivating other employees. 

Serious misconduct is even worse and can be seen when an employee causes serious risk to the health and safety of another person or to the reputation or profits of their employer's business or deliberately behaves in a way that's inconsistent with continuing their employment.
Examples of serious misconduct include:
  • theft
  • fraud
  • assault
  • being drunk at work
  • refusing to carry out work duties.


  1. Create a written procedure for how you will be managing employee performance 
  2. Work out the business goals for the year ahead 
  3. Think about individual performance goals for each employee that will help your business reach its goals.
  4. Prepare a template to use for performance meetings so that you can record the points you want to speak about. 
  5. Engage with each employee to let them know about the new process and to learn more about their personal goals for their job and ensure they are relevant to their job and realistic.
  6. Record these once  you have both agreed upon them and worked through any support you need to provide to help them reach these goals. Training, would be one example. 
  7. Set some realistic time frames for these goals to be achieved. 

Final thoughts 


When you see your role as facilitating good performance, the stress goes out of the process. Suddenly you are all on 'the same side' and when you are all aligned towards a common purpose, magic can happen. 

It helps to have a clear vision articulated that employees can buy into. 



Like to discuss your business? Contact Lindy Asimus on 0403 365 855 or use the contact form on this page. Lindy Asimus Business Coaching Subscribe to Actionbites Blog

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