Employees go about their daily activities every week, waiting for the project that breaks them from their positions and gives them the opportunity to climb the ladder. However, while this may be true for companies in the movies, it’s not always the same for organizations in the real world. Even if this is the case with your organization, you can change it with a simple adjustment to your performance management. By implementing a system with clear and transparent communication and predetermined employee alignment, your organization can create a culture of responsibility.
Nix the Performance Lingo
Employees know their projects, they know their position, they know their department. What they don’t know is the HR jargon attached to performance management. Yes, there is a time and a place for the heavily technical discussion, but during the performance review process is not the place. Katie Anderson, Counselor and Litigator at Strasburger & Price, said
“Wherefore thou shalt not use superfluous words not necessary to convey thy meaning nor speak laboriously to lengthen the prose while concealing the purpose. Not even lawyers like legalese. Ease up on it and say what you mean in language anyone can understand.”
Align Projects to Organizational Goals
Your team needs a direct and clear connection between organizational goals and daily projects. Without this correlation between their work and the missions of the company, it’s a lot harder to drive better performance. But by measuring employee engagement through their (preferably) more than annual performance appraisal, you’ll be able to track their alignment and find ways to increase the impact of that relationship to the company.
A study from PMI reports that only 42% of business find that their projects align with their strategy. However, when you make a strategic move to measure the collective effects of connecting employees to the organizational goals through performance appraisals, you’ll be able to align your team to the greater business strategy.
Be Accountable for Accountability
As a part of management, it’s in your authority to ensure your team knows their responsibilities in their roles. But simply because they know what their job entails doesn’t mean they truly have an intrinsic accountability for their work. As a manager, you need to build that accountability in your team. Through regular performance reviews and measuring key points in the consistent improval of their work, you have the ability to instill in your team ownership of their work. Kelli Hinshaw, Director of Client Education at Lead Change Group, said:
“Core to leading any significant change effort is the organizational alignment. No amount of tactical change management training will substitute for having an entire organization that has a clear vision of goals, shared responsibility, and personal accountability to achieve results… Strong organizational alignment commands buy-in: there is no option not to be on board with strategic initiatives.”
Although performance is a key indicator of how well and how efficiently employees work, it can also be used to measure how connected your team is to the company mission. It is critical to understand the level of commitment and dedication your employees have to the organization because it does in fact make a difference in their performance (and vice versa). When you remove company jargon from performance appraisals, it makes it easier for employees to visualize the value of their work on business strategies. Foster a culture of accountability throughout your team so they have a deeper alignment to organizational goals. Don’t let your employees float through the company – give them a purpose in the goals and measure it.
Bio: Chris Arringdale
Chris Arringdale is the Co-Founder and President of Reviewsnap, an online performance appraisal software that allows you to customize performance management, competencies, rating scales and review periods. Reviewsnap serves more than 1,200 customers worldwide including, Penske Racing, CubeSmart, PrimeSource and Nonprofit HR Solutions.