Performance management skills refer to the ability of an individual to ensure that the work of those working under his supervision supports and furthers the goals and objectives of the organization.

Putting it simply, performance management skills refer to the capability of an individual to channel the talents of employees towards the attainment of organizational goals. It is the ability to ensure the accomplishment of organization’s strategic objectives through a process of continuous communication with the subordinates.

Such frequent communication encompasses the clarification of performance expectations, job responsibilities, providing feedback, reviewing results, as well as rewarding outstanding performance.

Why is performance management important

Gone are the days when performance management was treated as a yearly event and practiced only at surface level. Nowadays, focusing on performance management is integral to improving business results. Companies where goals are reviewed more frequently by their employees are said to have 45% greater probability of showing above average financial performance. They are also 64% more likely to reduce their costs, bringing them down to either the same level as competitors or below.

An ongoing practice of performance management provides the company with a workforce that is more empowered and engaged. Having performance management skills enables an individual to get a deeper insight into the skills and abilities of the workforce. This not only helps in the alignment of the right person with the right job but also ensures that he provides his workforce with the direction, feedback, as well as development opportunities that they need in order to succeed.

How to improve performance management skills

Take the following tips and improve your performance management skills that are so important for success:

  • Begin with a thorough yet, actionable planning. As a manager, you should understand the importance of effective planning using the SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely) objectives. Having a clear plan with actionable steps will give employees a direction such that their work will directly feed into the bigger picture.
  • Provide feedback right away. If you often tend to take notes and bundle all the feedback into the performance reviews, remember that this may enrich the reviews you provide but it undermines your overall performance management skills. The feedback may also lose its relevance by then and demoralize employees. Therefore, the most appropriate way is to provide feedback right away and help the employees to improve. This tip is known to work like a charm, try it!
  • Be more communicative and open to discussions. Instead of having complicated strategies that fosters a box ticking mentality, you must emphasize on discussions and improve your performance management skills. Try to hold one-to-one meetings with the employees on a weekly basis, making them share their ideas/problems comfortably by providing an opportunity to speak with you in private. Make these meetings more informal and the discussions focused on progress, priorities, obstacles, and alternative ways of tackling them, instead of looking backwards and criticizing employees for their mistakes.
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