So often, discussions around performance only take place when things go wrong and this, in turn, often leads to managers procrastinating when it comes to having conversations with their employees about their performance. Incorporating performance discussions in regular catch-up meetings can be a positive step towards addressing things early and successfully.
The following are six of the benefits to be gained from holding regular catch-ups with performance as part of the agenda.
1. Keeping track
Including performance in 1-to-1s, with a focus on current project/day to day work, makes it easier to establish whether things are on track or falling behind. If there is no regular discussion about progress then it is often the case that any delay or roadblocks are only unearthed when it is too late to address the core issues. The earlier something is picked up the easier it is to address it.
2. Removes the ‘hype’
The more frequent the performance discussions between manager and employee are, the more open-minded and honest the employee is likely to be around project/day-to-day progression and any obstacles they are facing. The manager can then help them consider the various options for overcoming these hurdles and any role the manager has to play. This enables a more collaborative approach between manager and employee, which in itself is a much more positive approach and demonstrates to the employee the manager wants them to succeed.
3. Helps motivation levels
Having regular discussions around performance can really help maintain consistent motivation levels as opposed to having a surge once a year then allowing levels to dwindle, which can often happen with the more traditional approach of only discussing performance at annual appraisals.
4. Personalised approach
All employees are different and, as such, the shape and form of 1-to-1 catch-ups may well vary, dependent on the particular employee. Having a frequent catch-up around performance allows the manager and employee to agree a format and shape which works for the particular employee rather than follow a prescribed process. This allows for a much more personalised approach to the employee’s performance discussions with their manager, facilitating positive and open discussion.
All too often in business, things change quickly and priorities can shift quite dramatically so incorporating performance into regular catch-ups presents an opportunity to consider whether objectives are still relevant and make adjustments.
6. Feedback timings
Regular meetings enable any personal feedback for the employee to be delivered in a timely manner and when it is most effective. Most people don’t want to hear something they did months ago went badly – this serves no real purpose to either party and often means the employee continues with the same approach, not realising it’s the wrong one and with the manager getting frustrated at the employee carrying on doing things the same way!
Similarly, and perhaps even more importantly, discussing performance at regular meetings can enable the manager to ‘catch’ good performance. Reinforcing great performance as soon as it happens means that, of course, the employee is more likely to repeat it, leading to rapid consistent improvements.
There are many positives to having regular meetings with individual team members to discuss their performance, more so – doing so can actively increase engagement and motivation levels even if on occasion the feedback might be on the negative side. The timing and frequency of such meetings makes it all the easier to overcome hurdles, rather than allow them to fester to a point where they are difficult to overcome.
If you need any advice on performance discussions or the poor performance process, please do get in touch.