Performance management systems are a great opportunity to establish a bond of trust between the company and its staff. However, many difficulties are encountered, and there is always the risk of making performance management a poor tool and an end in itself. How, then, is it possible to create effective and participatory development programmes? PHASE 1 Take, for example, a tree. Look at its parts as objectives to be achieved. The tree is a metaphor that allows us to think about performance management as a growth process: a process which starts from the roots, until you reach the top. In order to activate a development process, it is necessary to go through this first phase: to focus on the objectives to be achieved. This will give you clear direction to take. What are the objectives of a training programme to support performance management?
- Provide a clear view of the entire performance management process: the individual steps of the annual assessment cycle are typically experienced in isolation and there is no clear continuity to be followed in order to give real and effective meaning to the entire process.
- Tailored feedback on individual development plans. Each person is unique and can grow in different ways depending on the support provided and available opportunities: paths should be customised to fit individuals.
- Create moments in between evaluation. Training and development to ensure continuity, harmony and meaning to all the organisational cycles.
- Support the evaluators to raise awareness of the importance of their role in the organisation, and also provide the tools necessary to accompany those subject to evaluations on their development path.
- Support staff subject to evaluations in order to create a spark of self-learning and the motivation necessary to implement change aimed at personal improvement.
- Provide a user guide of operational tools to support the different phases of performance management, to experience these steps more serenely (i.e. management software, moments of discussion, etc.).
- Maintain a high level of attention and motivation of staff throughout the management cycle.
PHASE 2 How can these objectives be achieved? You have to start from the basics: a winning method is to solve the problems that arise during the different phases of the performance management process (assignment, objectives, feedback, assessment, performance, etc.). We can use 7 tools:
- visual representations to show the process overall and illustrate objectives, activities, and the output of each stage
- videos and cartoons to create awareness, responsibility, motivation and a sense of belonging
- audio-video tutorials to illustrate the stages of the process, give operational guidance and provide a user guide always available to evaluators and those subject to evaluations
- training pills on soft skills to create customised development programmes on competences, to be made available to support evaluators and those subject to evaluations throughout the process, particularly during the delicate feedback interview
- manuals (paper or otherwise) for evaluators to experience evaluations as an important responsibility and help them avoid common mistakes
- e-books to explain the competences system and behavioural indicators, providing examples and practical advice
- integrated communication campaigns (e.g. newsletters, poster posters and competitions) to transfer know-how and create a sense of belonging.
Customised programmes can be developed with these tools, combined in different ways. We therefore recommend the identification of goals, defining the difficulties and resistance to developing the most suitable programme for your business. This topic was addressed in posterLab no. 12: “eLearning for performance management” Elisa Cipriani