Performance Management - An Essential Component of Effective Talent Management
Many businesses today continue to be affected by prolonged economic challenges and continued globalization. Continuous improvement initiatives — once reserved for senior management and the manufacturing floor — now are critical elements to maximizing efficiencies across the enterprise, regardless of a company’s industry. This is especially true when it comes to talent management, since maximizing employee performance and productivity are critical to a company’s overall success.
Certainly, terms such as “talent management” and “performance management” are not new concepts. However, they’ve gained increasing relevance and priority as companies grapple with maximizing productivity and accountability from an increasingly lean, yet decentralized, global workforce. Now more than ever, the contribution of every employee must have a transparent benefit to overall company goals.
This challenge is compounded by shrinking budgets available to implement workforce management initiatives, including purchasing performance management and training systems. For this reason, any solutions implemented must work as efficiently as the people who leverage them.
Just like all continuous improvement philosophies, effective talent management is not comprised of a series of finite tactics, but is an ongoing integrated process backed by a culture of engagement and accountability. The stereotype of employees sarcastically referencing the “program of the month” is a key symptom that the more common tactical approach to talent management just isn’t working.
Effective talent management takes a holistic approach and incorporates all core elements including workforce performance management and workforce learning. In this document, we’ll dive a little deeper into the performance management component of effective talent management.
Often times, performance management systems — whether robust software or as simple as hand-written SMART Goals — while well-intentioned, are leveraged as little as once per year, during annual performance appraisal processes or perhaps for quarterly business unit reviews. Too often, goals are drafted with the best of intentions, but sidelined and derailed with emergency projects, incremental assignments, or a competency gap which goes unaddressed. Moreover, they’re drafted as a finite tool rather than a component of an ongoing process, and focus only on goals as opposed to incorporating a roadmap for reaching those goals.
While many performance management tools are able to automate goal-setting and identify gaps in performance or competencies, these systems can only be as effective as the degree to which they are used as elements of a comprehensive talent management solution to drive and enable performance improvement.
Fostering a high-performance organization includes more than just automating performance reviews. Organizations must have a performance management tool that quickly and easily identifies skills gaps and provides managers with recommendations on how to assign training to close those gaps. As a part of a comprehensive approach to talent management, performance reviews should result in a clear development plan for each employee that can be tracked and is integrated with an employee’s learning/training plan.
Additionally, performance management shouldn’t be one-sided. Providing 360-degree performance feedback helps employees understand not only how to be more effective individually, but how to empower the team they work with.
Effective performance management systems, as a component of a comprehensive talent management system, should be easy to access and easy to understand. They should also provide high-level snapshots or dashboards, as well as the ability to drill down to the individual level and link to the tools required in to achieve improvement.
By integrating the tools to manage and improve gaps in competencies, performance management systems themselves become more integrated with a company’s goals for improved efficiency. Software platforms such as learning management systems (LMS) or talent management solutions which incorporate e-learning to address core competencies — whether functional or behavioral — streamline efforts to close performance gaps. They enable the leader to identify appropriate courses and monitor progress and they empower the employee to take action by providing a clear roadmap of tangible deliverables in order to accomplish objectives.
Effective performance management systems are robust enough to provide the right metrics necessary for meaningful management reporting. Company leaders and managers can help keep the company more nimble, as they are able to see performance dashboards real-time. This enables them to identify any needs for corrective action, a development need, or even an opportunity for recognition.
Employees and departments become empowered — able to see the importance of their contribution, better able to manage and prioritize day-to-day demands and needs for improvement. Employees become engaged — active participants who are able and expected to take advantage of specific e-learning needs to help them succeed and to quickly gauge whether they’re on track. The results of study after study show that employee empowerment and engagement are fundamentally and inextricably linked to overall corporate performance.
When assessing the right solution to meet these integrated talent management needs, organizations should ensure that they are working with a provider that can provide options based on optimal outcomes versus a single proprietary solution. Intelladon is a talent and learning management solution integrator uniquely positioned to offer companies unbiased advice and provide a wide array of offerings through our best-in-class partnerships.
Learn more about our performance management solutions and e-learning solutions.