The new performance paradigm has ensured that the way performance management is conducted has drastically changed, it has become more on-going and continuous – with 360 degree feedback, pre and post assessments, coaching & conversations, and on-going reviews, there are new avenues opening up to motivate employees. Emerging technologies have been instrumental in building systems and processes to create performance ownership. These new tenets demand a ‘high people and development’ focus, wherein people see performance evaluation as an enabler to evolve and grow, and not merely to reprimand and correct. It calls for a developmental attitude and a growth mindset, where employees and managers work closely to drive desirable behaviours through a two-way dialogue.
How to help employees achieve peak performance
The three stakeholders including – the individual, manager and the HR organization play a pivotal role in enabling high performance. Here’s how:
1. Set up systems to ease the people development process: Today, continuous learning, feedback loops, peer-to-peer learning, mentoring and coaching need to be a part of the performance system. According to a Deloitte research, such technologies could include “emo tech” that’s geared at helping people develop self-awareness and emotional regulation; “collaboration, presence, and trust tech” to help people build deeper and meaningful connections.
Organization must facilitate this by enabling access to intuitive and accessible systems with real-time insights. For example, an AI-Chatbox built into the employee communications can help employees access resources that they need to succeed at work, algorithms can help personalize learning journeys and leveraging data-driven to help employees and managers understand the real-time performance can help pivot learning.
2. Managers as coaches: While technology can provide concrete insights, driving high performance also requires keystone habits that enable human interactions. People managers must become coaches, they must proactively connect, converse and counsel employees. For this, organizations must train their people managers in skills such as communicating, problem solving, collaborating, leading, and even on ‘learning how to learn’. They also need to play an instrumental role in reinforcing the values, vision, mission, purpose, and goals of the company. While HR can support, each manager must be enabled to understand the needs, wants, aspirations (both professional and personal), and motivators of his or her team members. Managers must make sure these are aligned with the organizational strategy to get the desired outcomes.
To inspire and sustain high performance, managers must facilitate a positive growth-mindset using positive reinforcement by aligning the right rewards and recognition at the right time and in the right manner. Once the contact between the boss and the subordinate is positive, supportive and encouraging, a positive self-image, then performance, productivity and output of the individual will reach its highest level.
3. Examine potential-based performance: Research on talent management has shown the importance of focus on performance management from the perspective of potential, not merely on performance. A blend of technological tools and strong people-connect can provide the right insights into what work is being done and how people are doing it. HR can then craft new ways of working that bring out the latent potential in every worker. At the ground level, every manager is responsible to uphold his or her team’s self-concept, so that every employee can unleash their potential and bring forth their best selves to work.
Sustained organizational high performance is a result of how individual and team performance align with the overall business strategy. Managers and leaders must constantly assess and re-assess performance goals to make sure everyone is sprinting in the right direction. This is especially necessary in tumultuous times like today, when any external or internal factors may change the business direction and the performance outcomes altogether. -
The onus of high performance is shared by multiple stakeholders – employee, manager, HR, leadership and the organization as a whole. Due to the inter-related nature of work no process can achieve its objective in isolation. Performance management is intricately tied-in to other HR processes such as learning & development, HR technology, rewards and recognition, HRIS, employee engagement, and labour compliance. To create a sustainable high-performance culture, HR must play the balancing act between high-touch and high-tech. This blended approach will help inspire people from within and bring the best out of them.