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Communication in Employee Performance Management

"Performance" is definitely one of the most frequently used concepts within organizations today. Companies try to make sure they are constantly moving towards the best possible utilization of the skills within their workforce, while employees hope to figure out what talents lie dormant and how to draw them out.  

Some companies believe that aligning individual employee objectives to business objectives is the only prerequisite for an efficient and performance management; unfortunately, it is not. Managers overlook the importance of the internal „buy-in” process.
Some others use next-generation software to manage performance indicators and streamline the efficiency of old evaluation tools.
Be it traditional or latest technology, planning and formulating performance management requirements in a collaborative environment increases employee retention and satisfaction at work.
Many companies, in the absence of time, neglect the crucial role that communication plays in motivatin employee. Thus, organization consultancy is perceived only as an option, while managers are focused entirely on payment and bonuses as motivators.
Lack of efficient communication may generate misinterpretations of the employee performance management process. It may be seen as a useless initiave, or worse, as a negative procedure aimed at  justifying potential employee cuts. Such long-term side effects must be avoided by all companies.
Communication between managers, HR professionals and employees must take place at all stages of assessment, from planning individual and organizational goals, to performance management, skills development and successful performance rewarding.

Goal setting
Managers should always encourage employees to participate in setting individual targets. By participating, employees gain a better understanding not only of the requirements and responsibilities, but the role each of them play within the organization. Managers must gather insight from employees and find solutions together. The fresh perspectives provided by employees are highly relevant for the execution of the company’s strategy and it may be cultivated over time by increasing their participation in the decision making processes.

Performance evaluation
Employees must be informed in advance of the level of performance they prove. Managers or HR professionals must communicate their strengths and if necessary those areas that need improvement. Both sides need to learn how to manage dynamic feedback - for it to be constructive, it must be a two-way process of communication and accountability.
Feedback works best when referring to a specific purpose, such as targets established during the planning phase. Employees must receive timely information about their performance. Thus, if there is any skill that needs improvement, the employee is entitled to correct the issue as soon as possible.
If instead, employees have reached or exceeded a goal much earlier than the annual assessment, positive feedback from the manager must be communicated without any restraint.

Skills & Competency Management
Performance evaluation provides an excellent opportunity for identifying development needs of employees. Developing the skills of an employee is more than running a formal training – it’s a processs of mutual commitment from both the manager and the employee.
Open dialogue, effective collaboration and mutual information are key elements that enhance the debate and approval of the final assessment, addressing organizational perspectives and individual goals, strengths and weaknesses of the employee, time and financial resources, opportunities and methods (formal and informal) as well as the right timing for the development plan.

Assessing & rewarding performance
Evaluation and assessment of performance against planned objectives and standards must be communicated to employees in a formal meeting, designed to inform them about their results, but also to set new goals and responsibilities, changes in their salary and benefits package, or if necessary, change of the position within the organization. Such a discussion must make employee feel safety, so scoring and evaluation processes do not become negative. Managers should always start with the positive feedback, regardless of the final grade.
The employee must be informed on their contributions to the organization, activities that proved fruitful, professional and communication skills with positive impacts on individual and organizational performance.
Employee must be given the opportunity to seek clarification, to ask questions or give additional information or explanations where he feels there’s a need for. The result should be agreed with the employee so that the discussion can move to setting and planning the development or career plan.



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