David Geffen of NICE defines performance management, while sharing some key objectives for the contact centre.
Many business leaders recognize performance management as a prime way to motivate learning and development within an organization, in addition to creating a culture of goal achievement and self-improvement.
Adopting performance management goals within your organization could prove to be very empowering, leading to better results from staff and, in turn, better experiences for customers.
To truly understand the objectives of performance management, it’s first important to have a clear understanding of what performance management actually is.
What Is Performance Management?
In essence, it is the ongoing process of communication between a supervisor and an employee that occurs throughout the year, in support of accomplishing the strategic objectives of the organization.
Naturally, while that definition sums up the spirit of performance management, there are a lot of moving parts involved, and a more detailed breakdown of the elements to maintaining a steady workforce and contact centre management software would include:
- Planning work and setting expectations
- Continually monitoring performance
- Developing the capacity to perform
- Periodically rating performance in a summary fashion
- Rewarding good performance
- Correcting poor performance
The concept of performance management rests on the simple principle: “What gets measured gets done.”
In an ideal system, a business creates a cascade of metrics and targets, from its top-level strategic objectives down to the daily activities of its frontline employees.
Managers continually monitor those metrics and regularly engage with their teams to discuss progress in meeting the targets. Good performance is rewarded; underperformance triggers action to address the problem.
To understand the goals that drive that principle, let’s take a look at the key objectives of performance management:
1. Setting and Defining Goals to Fulfil Organizational Objectives
Employees shouldn’t simply understand their own goals; they need context on how those goals align with the overall strategy of the organization.
Not only will this help with their daily decision-making, but an understanding of company objectives and how their roles feed into the direction of the company will give employees a sense of meaning and purpose.
It’s crucial to set goals that benefit both employee performance and organizational performance.
2. Developing a Performance Culture
Instilling an atmosphere where employees are focused on objectives, improvement, and development is one of the main objectives of performance management.
When performance is properly measured and feedback is timely and adequate, positive characteristics and behaviours are reinforced, and communication is constantly focused on development, and the strengths and weaknesses of the organization will become more evident and, as a result, easier to improve or rectify.
3. Encouraging Employee Empowerment
In the modern business landscape, providing employees with the appropriate tools to empower them to make decisions on behalf of the company is crucial.
A highly trained employee with the power of decision will not only ensure higher customer satisfaction, but also reinforce a certain level of autonomy, which can result in a more positive customer experience.
It’s all about encouraging employee buy-in, not only into the value-driven service their organization is providing, but also into the brand that they are representing.
4. Promoting Improved Communication Between Teams
Performance management relies on good communication and can be used to promote good two-way channels between leaders and employees.
By promoting and fostering open communication, organizations are rewarded with employees who are focused and engaged.
It can also be used to improve accountability in your organization, as staff will feel more comfortable about being open and honest.
5. Identifying Areas for Development
Another of the key objectives of performance management is evaluating where development opportunities exist. It is vital to create development plans with employees.
Focusing on development means managers and employees can put effective plans in place, leading to individual performance improvement and, ultimately, improved organizational performance.
Furthermore, when it becomes evident the organization is invested in their personal development and career aspirations, employees will feel like valued and respected members of the team instead of a replaceable cog in the machine.
6. Setting Appropriate Expectations for Both Managers and Employees
A truly efficient performance management system places clear and reasonable expectations on managers and employees alike. As such, managers should assign manageable goals to their direct reports.
For instance, it’s unreasonable to expect a poor performer to begin providing improved results right away.
Conversely, a star performer can’t be expected to maintain elevated levels week after week. Additionally, setting unreasonably lofty expectations for managers will only result in poor management decisions.
7. Establishing Positive Incentives for Good Work
You want to encourage your employees to do their best work, all the time. One of the best ways to do this is through positive incentives. Quotas, contests, and rewards can provide positive incentives in a number of different ways.
First, they can keep employees motivated when the calls get difficult. Second, they can help maintain a higher level of morale throughout your entire team. And third, they can make employees feel appreciated.
When your employees feel appreciated, they’re more than likely to go the extra mile to provide high-quality customer service when the need arises. That benefits them, you, and the entire organization.