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Five important performance management tasks you can't neglect

by , 20 October 2016
Five important performance management tasks you can't neglectPerformance management is more than just a process to document and deliver feedback, coaching and ratings. When you go beyond the basics, it becomes a powerful tool to help employees develop and achieve their full potential, and improve productivity within your company.

Follow these five tasks as part of your performance management process...

Three easy steps to protect yourself from legal comebacks on your employee's contracts
The South African labour laws offer your employees protection, but they also allow you a degree of flexibility in what you agree with your employee – so you need to be proactive and protect yourself when it comes to their employment contracts!

Do this by taking these three steps today:
  1. Design an employment agreement (whether it's in the form of a contract or a letter) that complies with the law, but fits with your business requirements.
  2. Make it a requirement for the selected job applicant to sign the contract BEFORE commencing employment.
  3. Explain (with the aid of an interpreter if necessary) the contents of the contract to the employee/applicant in a language he understands. 

Or you can get your hands on the Labour Law for Managers Practical Handbook...

Five important performance management tasks you can't neglect

1. Get employees to complete self-assessments

This will drive up employee engagement in your performance appraisal process, and ensure effective conversations between you and your employees.

You can use the same form you do for your normal performance appraisals or create a new version. The purpose of the self-assessment is to get your employees' perspective on their performance. This is a powerful way to give them a voice in the process.

2. Gather 360-degree feedback

Let's face it; you probably don't have the full perspective on your employees' performance. A 360-degree approach can help you avoid bias, get a different perspective on employees' performance and better identify areas you might need to coach or develop.

Employees often discount negative feedback as 'just your opinion'. If you gather feedback from multiple, credible sources it can make it more objective and increase its impact. 
The right way to draw up your employment contracts!

You must give your employees, in writing, the terms and conditions of their employment.

This document can take the form of a letter of appointment, or you can create a more formal contract of employment – the form doesn't matter it's the content that's important. Getting your employee to sign the document avoids disputes about whether or not it was given and what it contains.

You must do this when the employee starts employment and you must retain the document for at least three years after termination of the employment relationship (Section 29 of the BCEA). 

Click here to find out more about employment contracts.
Five important performance management tasks you can't neglect... continued

3. Align employee goals with organisational goals

We all know the importance of SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) goals for our employees. Part of what makes a goal relevant is its context. If you align and link employee goals with higher level organisational goals, it will give employees an all important 'larger context' for their work.

This helps employees understand why their work is important and how it contributes to the larger organisation's success.

4. Create development plans for employees

Development plans are most powerful when they're an integral part of the performance management process, not a separate activity. The performance appraisal meeting is usually the principal time when you and your employees discuss performance deficiencies and career aspirations.

Identify learning activities to address any deficiencies during the appraisal. It'll help to communicate both the manager's and the organisation's commitment to the employee and their expectations for improvement.

5. Reward good performance

It's important to reward and reinforce good performance. Performance ratings must be a known and visible factor when you determine employee rewards and compensation.

But, if you can't seem to get employees to perform up to scratch, you'll probably have to go the dismissal route... And the Labour Law for Managers will help you do just that...

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