How do you effectively manage employee performance? This is a question that employers have been asking themselves since the first time one person hired another to do some work on their behalf. We all want to get the best value out of our investments. After all, an employee on Facebook all day is an employee that isn’t as productive as they could be, right?
Here are the pros and cons of employee performance management to consider so that the best possible production value can be achieved.
The 4 Pros of Employee Performance Management
1. It provides employees with the feedback that they need to succeed.
Feedback is critical to the management of an employee’s performance. If an employee doesn’t know what they’re doing is right or wrong, then they’re just going to take their best guess and roll with the punches. Simple coaching in what is expected can change production outcomes quite dramatically.
2. It allows employees to become more comfortable with their assigned roles.
The biggest danger to not providing management to an employee’s performance is that this will cause direct reports to think of their supervisor as incompetent. Nobody wants to work for someone who is incompetent, no matter how much money they make. By managing employee performance, each role can be better defined and this stops workers from going rogue.
3. It sets a foundation for employees to feel safe about bringing up concerns.
Workers have already invested themselves into a certain outcome with their employer. They’ve bought-in just by the decision to report to work every day. What employee performance management does is encourage a solid foundation for transparent communication at all levels. Workers need to feel safe about bringing up concerns just as managers need to feel safe about taking performance concerns to the employee. The give and take that is established will always provide benefits.
4. It is a way to weed out workers who aren’t invested.
There’s always going to be a worker hanging around who is looking out for their own best interests. They’ll be playing games online, on their phone, or busy talking to other workers without a care for production levels. Performance management helps employers identify these workers quickly so they can be removed. It’s never easy to fire someone, but if the choice is for one person to lose their job or for it to happen to everyone, the choice is usually pretty clear.
The 4 Cons of Employee Performance Management
1. It places all of the pressure on middle management.
Production levels are ultimately controlled by the middle managers when a focus on performance management is encouraged. These managers get pressured from above to improve production and pressured from their direct reports about the conditions behind the given feedback. If failure happens, guess who gets blamed?
2. It is very easy to misinterpret the intentions of performance management.
If someone is used to receiving only negative feedback, then any feedback they are given is going to be seen in a negative light. Even something like “Hey – you’re doing an awesome job” gets turned into “I wonder if they’re trying to fire me.” Performance management must take into account the individual and that isn’t always done.
3. Performance management is usually reactionary instead of proactive.
Most workers receive some feedback only when they do something that their employer didn’t want them to do. Positive feedback is quite rare in the modern workplace and it usually isn’t taken seriously because of how infrequently it is offered. This can be changed around somewhat if proactive feedback is offered, but many employers don’t give it enough time for that change to take place.
4. It can divide the work environment.
Sometimes employee performance management comes from peers or outside clients instead of a direct supervisor. If negative feedback is given, then a team can be divided because workers feel like everyone is out to get them. It can even reduce production because workers begin to campaign for a better review.
The pros and cons of employee performance management prove that this it is necessary, but it must be handled with delicacy. One wrong word could destroy the working relationship. If management techniques are more proactive instead of reactive, there is a chance to make the necessary feedback be less worrisome for everyone involved.