Performance management techniques are ways an employer helps maintain and promote efficient employee performance. These can range from selecting employee management philosophies to adopting technical performance tracking tools to enacting formal policies. Performance management techniques are also methods by which an employer helps prevents unlawful practices.
Managing performance often starts with making sure employees have formal job descriptions. Lack of definition around roles and responsibilities often leads to decreased efficiency, redundancies, missing roles, or general confusion. Having a formal job description also allows for smoother employee evaluations, since expectations and responsibilities are clearly defined from the outset.
Next, an employer should make sure employees know how to do their jobs and have resources to help them do their job better. Usually, employers use mentoring and training programs to accomplish these tasks. Some companies specifically assign senior employees to junior ones with a requirement to meet regularly, while other companies encourage more casual mentoring relationships. Training programs also differ widely; some companies require specific courses to be taken or a certain number of units to be completed every year, while other companies offer training resources to their employees with few formal guidelines.
Maintaining regular performance reviews and working with employees on personalized development plans and goals is another way to help improve performance. The formality of a performance review provides the employer an opportunity to talk to employees about patterns of behavior rather than only address specific situations. Working on an individual performance development plan also helps keep both the employer and employee focused on what the employee needs to grow in his or her job.
Employers also use different compensation models to help maintain and encourage top performance. Pay raises, bonuses, and special benefits are common awards when employees set defined performance goals or exceed management’s expectations. Companies need to take care when assigning money to behavior, however, making sure it is the right behavior they are rewarding and that the rewards and behaviors both have overall beneficial impact on the company’s performance.
Beyond the above basic performance management techniques, many experts theorize on what specific techniques and philosophies work best in what types of companies. Performance management techniques vary widely based on whether or not they also take into account the personality types, conflict styles, and communication norms of different individuals. Individual contributor vs. manager is also a distinction often taken into account when establishing techniques.