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By aligning individual goals and benchmarks with company ambitions in performance management planning, businesses link the pieces to the whole

Do More, Faster with Performance Management Software

Employees work on two levels. On a fundamental level, they work for their own career and daily responsibilities, and on a greater level, they work for the company as a whole, upholding and advancing its mission and goals.

The key to maximizing each employee's value and commitment to both causes lies in the business's ability to tie them together. The workforce needs a greater good to work toward - be it company culture or organizational objectives -and if provided one, their own workload becomes that much more satisfying and rewarding. The overall vision informs the personal duty, which is then put toward improving the company on the whole - again incentivizing and engaging employees to perform their best.

The way to arrive at this virtuous cycle is through performance management. By aligning individual goals and benchmarks with company ambitions in performance management planning, businesses link the pieces to the whole. And yet it can go further, by crafting performance management plans for teams, divisions, even departments, the company engineers a structure of oneness. Each employee or group succeeds by the company succeeding. There are many considerations, however, with such planning, and to effectively strategize holistic performance management, these steps must be addressed: 

Define Organized Goals

Performance management begins and ends with the company's aspirations and goals, so it is required they are first known and communicable.

The best way to conceptualize these company goals is by strategic planning, following formulaic and macro-based processes for clearly delineating organization objective. Often undertaken by senior leadership, strategic planning is a necessary action because company goals that are clearly conveyed and easily expressed are ideal for evangelizing and incentivizing in performance management. 

In short, goals need to be SMART:

  • Specific: The areas to improve are targets and defined (cost, quality, quantity)
  • Measurable: Indicators of progress or success are complied, tracked and analyzed
  • Acceptable: The relevancy and essentiality of the goals are agreed on by all
  • Realistic to Achieve: Clear stages of achievability are laid out
  • Time Bound: Deadlines are established, timelines for progress and success are constructed

Develop Desired Results

Just as SMART goals are created for the company, SMART employee goals are needed to guide and shape performance. It also further emphasizes how important the goals and performance qualities of the company and employee are shared.

For example, if an organization has targeted improved client retention over new business for improvement, the means to that ulterior objective must be reflected through individual performance management. This could mean placing greater value on fostering better customer satisfaction and enhancing responsiveness to client needs and pain points by the employee.

Tie Results Together

Now that the goals have been created for both an organizational and individual level - the results of each entity must be tied irrevocably. The company needs to validate that the work and the good the individual employee accomplishes feeds directly back to attaining the firm's communicated goals.

The key word there is "communicated." It's not enough to have simple briefings on quarter two goals and dole out individual regiments for improvement. Employees must know exactly how their work helps to achieve company goals; not only that, but also their overall importance to and fit in these grand designs.

If an employee elevates their customer's satisfaction, they should be able to easily grasp how that helps the company achieve better client retention. Leadership also has a part to play in illustrating just how those ends are arrived at: working harder to foster collaboration and pathos with the client or even managing and delivering on high-priority client demands.

Charging every member of a specific team with elevating their interdepartmental relationships and doing their part in improving customer satisfaction is an example of how varied goals (like those of account management versus production) can still mesh with the overall vision. 

Weigh Results

The game plan is motion, but objective measures of progress toward goals also need to be in place. Already considered as the "M" in SMART, the specific criteria by which progress is judged must be communicated and tracked.

For instance, with customer retention being the ultimate goal, improved scores on customer satisfaction month over month may mean more than dollar amount of new business attributed to the employee.

If customer retention is to be improved by 10 percent, convey the greater value and reward in improving client responses two points on a 10-point satisfaction scale than solely focusing on hoarding in new business. 

Evaluate and Follow Through

Consistent evaluation and discussion on reaching targets is critical to the success of any performance management plan, and that of any company. 

To ensure every party is on track to attain their goals - both employee and company - there has to be a regular dialogue on what is being done, how it's being done and how well it is being done.

Because customer retention is the object of improvement, a company can engage an employee on what work they are doing to improve satisfaction, how communicating more on the phone is leading to more personal client relationships and the objective results and performance measures that gauge positive improvement.

Open and honest assessment and discussion is key to keeping course and both individual and company goals. 

Performance Management Behind It All

As the framework to aligning individual and company goals across all potential obstacles, performance management is too valuable a discipline for companies to ignore. Furthermore, the opportunities for advancement and grow afforded to both individual and company at once by engaging in strategic performance management planning are clear hallmarks of leaders. 

From the top to the bottom, the same goals are shared - though the means to them may not be common. And when companies and their employees act and live on the same plane of understanding and vision - the oneness of that thinking and action carries profound benefits with it. 

The first step is to define the company goals and disseminate them across the workforce, which then needs to have their own goals guided in the direction of those desired results and improvements. The company also needs to measure and evaluate regularly, and with purpose. The result is a strategic performance management plan designed expertly to feed the success of both company and individual.