An effective performance management system typically has three main elements, one of which is goal setting. This includes goal setting for employees, projects, job roles, and even the organization as a whole. Developing a strategy to ensure that the organization’s goals are aligned with employee performance and that it is all centrally managed will make a much more efficient, goal-oriented structure for any organization looking to thrive in today’s highly competitive business economy.
To utilize performance management to align employee skills with company goals, you have to know what kind of goals you’re looking at and how to put performance tracking and monitoring tools in place to ensure that the team, and the organization, are on the right track to achieve their goals.
Types of Strategic Goals
There are several different categories or types of goals that a business may set. These could be related to specific projects, job roles, behaviors, or even more generalized goals about operations, profits, growth, etc. Setting goals is about establishing objectives that align with your organization’s mission and vision, and in doing that, you need to ensure that you have the right teams in place.
Thus, it would follow that you can’t monitor (or even set) strategic goals until or unless you monitor employee performance and ensure that you have a plan to acquire the resources needed to achieve the goals. In other words, you can’t put the cart before the horse. How is any business going to meet its goals without a team of employees to do the work, after all?
Some companies have started considering which goals they can attack most effectively based on the employees or skills they have available at the time. Utilizing performance management platforms, organizations can ensure that employee skills and capabilities are in line with the overarching goals and that if they aren’t, the right resources are acquired. If you do not consider employee performance, you cannot properly measure the achievement of your strategic goals.
Performance Management as a Proactive Resource
Currently, many organizations react to performance management. They use reviews and performance ratings to judge how employees and the organization have responded to the necessary changes in the business. They also check to see how well people have grown into their roles and whether they have met their goals in terms of performance. All of this is good and well, but imagine what you could do if you took a proactive approach to performance management.
This could include:
- Previews instead of reviews: Take a proactive approach to performance management instead of reacting after the fact. This includes reviewing which employees will assist with goals and how their skills can be employed, as well as upskilling opportunities that can align with strategic goal achievement for the organization.
- Continuous feedback and dialogue: Instead of having static review sessions periodically, it’s helpful to have an ongoing dialogue of feedback and strategy to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that changes can be made quicker and more effectively.
- Clear and specific expectations: How can you manage performance if you don’t have expectations in mind? Metrics are only as valuable as what they’re supposed to measure up to, so having the expectations set ahead of time is much more effective.
- Upskilling for the sake of employee confidence and future success: As mentioned, it’s about preparing employees to help the company achieve its goals today, tomorrow, and further down the road. That includes investing in upskilling, which you can only do if you’re properly monitoring performance.
Training Employees with Strategic Needs in Mind
One of the best ways that organizations can turn their approach to project management into a proactive one is to consider the strategic needs of the organization first and then create the eLearning and performance tracking resources from there. If your organization has a goal to increase lead conversions by 10% over the year by adopting new marketing strategies, your first employee performance goal should be to improve their lead conversion training and help people acquire the skills to close more deals.
To break it down here’s a way to turn your strategic goals into performance management initiatives:
- Consider which employees and departments are involved in each goal.
- Determine what performance management tools or analytics you can use to make sure employees are capable of delivering on the goals that have been set.
- Monitor future performance and create proactive learning opportunities so that strategic goals are met as a byproduct of everyday business and not such a huge, potentially unattainable target.
- Think ahead and capitalize on performance management resources to pick out the best candidates for future goals and strategic needs.
Without Performance Management, Alignment is Impossible
Business success comes from having a solid strategy that aligns organizational goals with the capabilities of employees, as well as the potential future training and learning opportunities that can be found by comparing those capabilities to the goals and filling in the gaps. Skills gaps are a big cause of lost profits and employee dissatisfaction on the job. All too often, companies overlook the value of performance management in hitting business goals, but success in today’s economy comes down to streamlining operations. How can you do that if you don’t know where your employees stand in regard to how their performance affects the overall achievement of company objectives?
Performance management is not a management-vs-employee task. It’s a collaborative activity that should be embraced by leaders and teams in the modern organization. It’s an opportunity to create a better team that will help the organization achieve bigger and better goals and to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Invest in resources like performance management and eLearning platforms, ongoing feedback, and strategic planning tools that will help you make the most of your success by utilizing your most valuable asset: your employees.
Think of the employee performance metrics as the building blocks for a solid business strategy and then you’ll understand the value of this alignment.