Every organisation, no matter how small or how big, require people and processes to run. How efficiently an organisation runs, however, depends on many factors such as lack of clear cut communication, competence issues, lack of a clear cut strategy, unclear measurement guidelines, in other words, performance management issues.
Business owners and managers often feel they have no time to fix performance management issues because of the workload they themselves have to pull through. In reality, you have to get things done through the people who work for you. It is the reason you hired them, and if they are not performing to the best of their ability either through miscommunication of strategy or of business reasons behind why you have set up certain processes, then the people who work for you begin to carry out their work in their own way. Their own way, even if borne out of best intentions, may not serve your organisational purpose.
Performance problems vary in type and form. They vary from individual to individual, from department to department and from organisation to organisation. As such, performance management solutions in one organisation may not necessarily work in another organisation. The solution to performance problems must be treated on a case by case basis as no one solution fixes it all.
On a critical look, the most common reasons why organisations do not meet their goals can usually be tied to performance issues, and performance issues can usually be tied to strategy and strategy communication and other human resource problems. Below are some common situations.
- No Clear Expectations – Business owners and managers often assume that employees know what is expected of them, after all, it is in their job descriptions. In the nature of business and the complexity that surrounds it, targets are constantly changing, and if clear expectations are not being set for employees, there is bound to be a lot of motion but little movement. Setting these clear expectations also go hand in hand with explaining the business reasons for setting these expectations. There should be no gaps left in their understanding as to why these expectations are being set.
- Skill Mismatch – Another salient reason why employees often fall short of meeting their goals is because they simply do not know how to do what needs to be done. This could also be as a result of inadequate training or change in job requirements. This sounds easy enough to fix but could easily be missed if managers aren’t making assumptions on the skill and knowledge level of the people who work for them.
- Management Inconsistencies – Organisations, ideally, should be run by sets of proven guidelines that reward good performance and punish poor performance. Unfortunately, the opposite is sometimes the case and the multiplier effect of this on an organisation can be very far reaching. Soon, hard workers are identified and are often handed more difficult tasks, and poor performers are excused or transferred to other areas of less work. If workload cannot be kept balanced and hard work not rewarded, a lot of resentment sets in and hard workers soon start to leave.
- Lack of Credibility – This stems from management inconsistencies. If employees do not trust their supervisors, they are not likely to trust the results of any performance metrics produced by their supervisors.
- Workload Balance – Sometimes, the people who work for you think that other activities are more important. This can sometimes be a huge problem as it means that they are leaving other important work undone. Employees need to be encouraged to see the benefit of being able to do all the tasks assigned to them rather than cherry pick.
Performance management differs for every organisation. Sometimes, the problems are larger or beyond the skill level of the business owners or managers and experts need to be called in. Balanced Scorecard West Africa Ltd, affiliated to the Balanced Scorecard Institute in the USA, possesses deep knowledge about solving performance issues, strategy setting and strategy communication using the 9 steps to success framework.
As certified instructors and professionals, we are always willing to look into the performance management problems your organisation is going through, knowing that we are well equipped to providing lasting solutions to these problems.