6 Strategies for Effective Performance Management

What would you do after completing your MBA to sell performance management system to your top management?

A large part of working in Human Resources (HR) is regulating performance management. Creating a space where you and your employees can produce excellent work and perform to the best of your abilities is no easy task, but with the right strategies, you can make it work. Of course, effective performance management is more than just creating a work environment that works: Effective performance management is about leadership, interpersonal relationships, constructive feedback, and teamwork. Even when it comes to the difficult HR tasks of managing a process your employees don’t care for or find value in, managing a paper process, aggregating data, and keeping other managers motivated to provide employees with useful feedback, there are strategies available that make these tasks more doable.
6 Strategies for Effective Performance Management

Whatever obstacles you may be facing, we have some tips to make things run more smoothly and efficiently in the workplace. Consider the following six strategies for effective performance management.

A Wide Scope of Resources

Before we jump into the six strategies for effective performance management, it is important to note all that falls under the umbrella of performance management:
  • Setting expectations for work performance and planning ways to meet these expectations
  • Monitoring employee performance with check-ins and meetings
  • Offering rewards and praise for good performance and addressing poor performance
  • Regularly rating performance through summaries and reviews
  • Continually developing a capacity for optimal performance

Also known as “performance appraisal,” these criteria ensure that an organization is working at its best and providing optimal services and output. In time, effective performance management should lead to organization growth and success.

Try These 6 Performance Management Strategies

1. Define and Communicate Company Goals and Performance Objectives

Your employees cannot meet your performance expectations or company goals if they are not clearly outlined, making this our first step toward effective performance management. Sometimes employers are not as clear as they could be when outlining their goals or company objectives, and often, employees do not come forward to ask follow-up questions when they are confused or unclear about something. Preempt this pitfall by being as clear and communicative as you can possibly be.

You can define and outline goals by using a goal-tracking software, creating a chart within the office, by sending out an e-mail, distributing a flyer throughout the office, holding meetings, or doing each of these things in turn. When you are outlining goals and objectives, repeat the message so that it sinks in, offer visuals (such as an office chart and e-mail) so that employees have a reference, and most importantly, hold meetings to check in on progress.

2. Utilize Performance Management Software

If you are not already using a performance management software, it may be time to consider trying it out. If you do already use one and it’s not saving you any time, your team complains about it, or it has low employee engagement, it may be obsolete and in need of an upgrade. Performance management software can really streamline your performance management strategies, making it imperative that you either begin using one or at least begin looking to upgrade.

A good performance management software system is one that both offers traditional reviews and 360s, is employee-friendly, has an easy-to-use dashboard interface, allows for quick and actionable reporting and, of course, fosters employee development. The software will help both you and your employees stay on top of things so that your company is running smoothly and efficiently at all times. Some useful examples of more modern performance management software can be found here.

3. Offer Frequent Performance Feedback

While clearly communicating company and individual goals is an essential step for any business, communication alone is not going to get you all that far. Your managers will also need to check in with teams and employees periodically not only to gauge progress but also to provide feedback.

Good performance feedback reinforces strong skill sets and positive behaviors while showing opportunity areas with a clear path for improvement. This type of feedback cannot wait until HR kicks off an annual review cycle. Instead, it should be given in real time and integrated into company culture (it should also start during the interview process, but that is another post for another time).

Timely performance feedback is the best way to affirm your employees and their work while also shaping their work effectively. If you have a performance software now, it should be able to help you collect frequent feedback. If not, free tools like Google forms, survey monkey, or even just a basic e-mail request will get you pretty far.

4. Use Peer Reviews

Another great way to foster effective performance management is to utilize peer reviews, also known as 360-degree reviews. Again, this is a feature that can be found on most performance management software programs. Peer reviews are useful because they allow coworkers to praise other coworkers and highlight positive aspects of their performance, as well as point out where improvements can be made.

This exercise helps employees to work together, build better communication, and assess where they can improve themselves while watching their colleagues. There does need to be some manager or HR oversight into this process, and all peer reviews should be read to ensure that no claims, concerns, praises, or other comments go unnoticed or unaddressed.

5. Preemptive Management and Recognition

One way to guarantee results in the workplace is to implement rewards and practice preemptive management. This simply means that your employees always know what is expected of them so there is never any guesswork or need for consequences in the workplace.

This starts everyone on the same footing, making a fair playing field where expectations are set and goals are known. Rewards, or incentives, are also an effective way to show employees that you care, that you see their efforts and are pleased with their performance, and that you want them to keep up the good work.

In the same way, having a strong “HR Toolbox” in play that helps managers catch slipping employees early on and provide appropriate feedback helps to catch a problem before it even starts. In this way, “Preemptive Management” is all about communicating with your employees and letting them know what is expected, what is not, and how to meet the goals that have been set.

6. Set Regular Meetings to Discuss Outcomes and Results

Also known as progress reports or progress meetings, setting aside time to meet with your team and seeing how things are going with your set goals and objectives are important for meeting those goals and objectives.

These meetings can be held weekly, monthly, or as often as you see fit. Ensure that your team knows that attendance is mandatory. This makes the progress feedback more accurate and allows you to make plans for moving forward.

When holding these meetings, be sure to have a clear idea of what you want to cover. Some objectives should include:
  • Following Up on Peer Reviews
  • Discussing Praises and Areas that Need Work with the Team
  • Recognizing Those Team Members Actively Meeting their Goals and Objectives with Rewards or Incentives
  • Discussing Plans for The Next Phase of Projects
  • Discussing Company Data: Revenue, Customer Involvement, Marketing and Campaign Success, Etc.

You should never meet just for meeting’s sake. You want to have something relevant to address and something worthwhile to talk about. If you feel things are going smoothly, employees are receiving performance feedback and acting accordingly, and the company overall is on a positive road, meetings may be held less frequently and treated as checkpoints throughout the year.

If there are issues, concerns, questions, or ideas you want to discuss, have meetings sooner rather than later. Keeping your team involved, up to date, and in the loop are important for ensuring the machine that is your organization runs smoothly.

These six strategies for effective performance management may seem simple, but they can work wonders when implemented into your company’s day-to-day life. Companies should be about the people involved. Making the most of their abilities, recognizing where they shine, encouraging them where they need work, and seeing them as full employees, not just cogs, are really how you can create the right work environment for success

One of the biggest reasons people choose to pursue an MBA is the boost it gives to their career. The all-round development that MBA students undergo during their time at a business school makes them a highly attractive proposition for employers, who are seeking talent that possesses sharp business acumen and leadership skills to drive future growth. MBA graduates find a place in every industry, from healthcare to finance.

With so many possible career options after an MBA, it can be a bit overwhelming for students to narrow down on their ideal role. Furthermore, knowing what you want to do after MBA can also be an important deciding factor for your choice of business school and MBA specialization. To help you out, we here discuss the most popular MBA jobs in India, in the hope that it'll make your decision easier.

Jobs after MBA: Investment banking

Becoming an investment banker is one of the top choices for a career after MBA. Most graduates join in the role of an Associate and work on helping their clients, some of the world's leading companies and governments, raise capital or pursue other growth opportunities through securities and other financial instruments, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate restructuring, among others. The position is highly rewarding, in terms of not just the money and career trajectory but also the impact you have on the global business world.

Becoming an investment banker requires you to be proficient in crunching numbers and financial modelling as well as have an acute strategic vision. Students who want to pursue this career path usually choose the MBA in Finance specialization.

Although the kind of pay package you can get is dependent on the reputation of the business school, the average figure across India would fall within the range of ₹25 to ₹30 lakh per annum and can go up to ₹40 lakh per annum for top-tier schools. Potential recruiters include both Indian banks such as HDFC, ICICI, and Axis Bank, and global financial institutions like JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and Citi.

Jobs after MBA: Private equity, venture capital, and investment management

The finance industry is a very lucrative industry to be a part of. Apart from investment banking, MBA graduates can find roles in sectors such as private equity, where they lead investment opportunities in private companies; venture capital, where they help in identifying and investing in high potential start-ups; and investment management, where they manage portfolios comprising of multiple financial assets. The compensation in these job profiles is quite similar to that of investment banking.

Jobs after MBA: Management consulting

Management consulting ranks alongside finance as one of the most sought-after MBA jobs for graduates in India. Companies often hit a roadblock and seek outside expertise to improve one or more aspect of their business, which is where consulting firms come into the picture. They make an objective assessment of the situation and formulate the appropriate strategy to overcome it and drive future growth. Some consulting companies can be broad and cover all facets of a business while some can provide specialized services like strategy consulting, operations consulting, technology consulting, sales and marketing consulting, or human resources consulting

Management consultants are as well paid as investment bankers and other finance professionals, with starting MBA salaries reaching up to ₹35 lakh per annum if you are a graduate of a top business school while others can earn between ₹25 to ₹30 lakh per annum. Top employers include McKinsey, Bain, Boston Consulting Group, and Kearney. Given the need for management consultants to have thorough business knowledge and excellent interpersonal skills, it is easy to understand why consulting firms avidly seek MBA talent. And the attraction of assisting a wide range of leading organizations across multiple industries with their pertinent business concerns is what draws graduates towards this role for a career after MBA. The rapid career progress, chance to travel and opportunity to network with business leaders are just additional perks.

Jobs after MBA: Marketing

Although marketing has always been one of the most essential components of a business, its importance has only risen in recent years as competition has increased manifold and brands are seeking new and unique ways to stand out from each other. Marketing managers are responsible for just that as they conduct market research, analyze competition, and study consumer behaviour to come up with an impactful marketing strategy that will increase brand awareness, gain new customers and retain old ones, and eventually drive revenue growth. Marketing managers are also often involved in decisions regarding product, pricing, and sales channels.

MBA students, especially those that pursue an MBA in Marketing, by the virtue of their academic and practical learning are well-equipped to handle all the above tasks. The work is quite dynamic, requires creative and innovative thinking, and can have a memorable impact, thus making it a top choice among all MBA jobs. Since you will need to work with and manage multiple external and internal stakeholders, effective communication and leadership skills are crucial.

Marketing managers are needed by all companies, thus offering students a wealth of options to choose from. However, FMCG, retail, and technology firms are the primary recruiters. The average salary would be between ₹20 to ₹25 lakh per annum, with students from premier business schools or having previous experience even demanding ₹30 lakh per annum.Jobs after MBA: Product management

Traditionally, product management was considered a part of the marketing function at FMCG and manufacturing companies and dealt more with pricing, placement, and promotion of products rather than the actual product development. But over the last two decades, the rapid ascent of technology companies, which are developing increasingly innovative and customized products at high frequency, has transformed the role of a product manager and made it one of the hottest MBA jobs in the 21st century.

Product managers take complete ownership of a product's lifecycle, from design to delivery. They lead cross-functional teams, working with the engineering team to develop and test the product; the marketing and sales team to understand the market requirements and competitive landscape as well as devising a marketing and distribution roadmap; and the customer support team to get feedback that can be used for improving the product. Product managers need great strategic sense, problem-solving ability, entrepreneurial thinking, and effective communication skills, all of which make MBA graduates ideal candidates for this role.

Technology companies, be it multinational giants like Amazon, Microsoft and Google, or firms from specialized sectors like e-commerce (example – Flipkart, Udaan), mobility services (example – Ola, Uber), financial technology (example – Paytm), educational technology (example – Byju’s), and food delivery (example – Zomato, Swiggy), aggressively hire MBA students as product managers. However, even FMCG and industrial goods companies hire for this role. Product managers earn healthy MBA salaries, averaging around ₹25 lakh per annum.

Jobs after MBA: Project management and program management

Project managers handle the end-to-end implementation of a project, including devising an execution strategy, setting project goals, establishing KPIs, allocating resources, meeting the budget, and meeting targets. Program managers operate at a level above and oversee multiple dependent projects needed to achieve a broader strategic vision for their company.

MBA graduates are highly suitable candidates for project management or program management roles since they have the required managerial prowess. They are also paid handsomely, with an average salary between ₹20 and ₹25 lakh per annum. Again, potential recruiters could include companies for various industries, though technology companies are usually at the front of the pack.

Jobs after MBA: Business development

Business development managers are tasked with helping their companies expand. This could be through acquiring new customers, entering new markets, forming new partnerships, or identifying new sales channels. The role needs you to have both commercial and operational acumen as well as possess excellent leadership and relationship management skills. MBA graduates interested in this position can find opportunities in all major industries and can expect to earn between ₹20 to ₹25 lakh per annum on average.

Jobs after MBA: Human resource management

Human resource managers are responsible for the most vital component of any business - the workforce. They take charge of talent acquisition and the recruitment process, training and career development programs, compensation and benefits, company culture, workplace policies and compliance, employee grievances, and industrial relations. MBA in Human Resources graduates can either join as generalists, where they handle multiple areas of human resource management, or specialists, where they focus on one aspect. The average starting MBA salary of human resource managers falls between ₹15 to ₹20 lakh per annum.

The jobs you’re interested in for after your MBA may inform your choice of MBA specialization. Read our advice for picking the right specialization based on your career goals.

How do you see the future mediating role of performance management in reward and compensation system?

There is a crucial role of future mediating role in performance management. Forecasting and predicting the future problem that the business may face is very much essential. It helps in coping up with the rapid changes. Also, it helps in making a strategic plan up to which the company will work. Also, it will help in generating the plans that will be important in the future too. Sometimes these plans may not work. At that time, there will be a need for a compensation program. Management is a process of planning, organizing, staffing directing, and controlling the organizational resources to achieve organizational goals effectively and efficiently. If the pre-set guidelines and strategy works, then we can reward the employees for their initiative. It also helps in taking help from the last plans that either worked or didn't work. If the plans have worked, then reward will be for the company as higher profits will be in demand also. If the set forecasting fails, then compensation plans are also made and set up in the future to cope up with the losses incurred. Hence it is essential in both reward and compensation systems. Forecasting is the habit of looking at past and real-time data to predict future demand. It will also help in gaining valuable insights. Also, it will help in decreasing costs. There is one outstanding advantage: even if the plan doesn't work, we will not start from scratch every time. We will learn something from the past forecasts.

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