Why performance management is important in good times and bad

Life was good and sales were easy. Morale was high, sales figures were glowing and egos were running amok. But still the questions were are we maximising opportunities, resources, objectives, systems and priorities? Needless to say these questions were rarely discussed.

Then in the 1990s things took a down turn. A declining market and recession meant a different style of management. Levels of negativity were high, forecasts were ‘dressed up’ and the consequences were severe.

Still the questions were are we maximising opportunities, resources, objectives, systems and priorities? This time they were talked about with urgency and a high dose of stress.

Performance management should be a priority in up times as well as down. It is economically dangerous to wait until crisis level. Monitoring and maximising behaviour and results right from the employee through the department and the organisation as a whole takes planning, reviewing, evaluating and planning again.

Of course, on-going data collection on efficiency of systems and processes needs to be collected and assessed. Increasingly however, data on short and long-term goals, individual and team management to identify and develop talent, and monitoring improvements in all levels of performance needs to be kept up-to-date regardless of the state of the market.

Ask yourself this: do all employees have a clear understanding of what is expected of them? Do managers regularly discuss the individual’s needs as well as the needs of the organisation? Excellent management is an ongoing process and when we get it right performances from all employees improve.

This list can be quite overwhelming, but using a well thought out plan that everyone agrees with will make the process easier, time efficient and effective.

Naturally in the 21st century, we continue to see up times and down times, but when we employ consistently excellent performance management techniques we have a better chance of avoiding a crisis.

3 Tips for effective performance management

1. Good business needs a healthy workforce and this starts with performance management that is consistent and transparent to avoid stress in the workplace. When cortisol one of the stress hormones is over stimulated for an extended period, we experience, memory loss, high blood pressure and possible depression. Expensive and unnecessary.

2. Psychologically, an agreed plan that has considered everyone’s input will promote responsibility and accountability. Both highly necessary for efficiency and well-being.

3. Our motivation and reward systems in the brain galvanise into action with energy and enthusiasm. It’s not always about money. By taking a little bit of time to find out what motivates our people, we can push business up to the next level and beyond.


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Dr Lynda Shaw

Dr Lynda Shaw, a cognitive neuroscientist and chartered psychologist specialising in the psychology of ageing and business improvement. A hugely popular speaker with an innovative, practical and immediately applicable approach, Dr Shaw offers insights into a variety of relevant and often controversial issues.

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Dr Lynda Shaw, a cognitive neuroscientist and chartered psychologist specialising in the psychology of ageing and business improvement. A hugely popular speaker with an innovative, practical and immediately applicable approach, Dr Shaw offers insights into a variety of relevant and often controversial issues.