Performance Management In A Downturn

In this current economic climate, smart companies are focusing more on performance management of their staff rather than  finding new ones. Employee performance is vital if a company is going to stay afloat. A lot ofrecruitment agencies have gone by the way of the dodo recently. A friend of mine started one about 4 years ago and she closed her doors about 3 months ago as she found that the industry was suffering big time. It seemed to her it was only the big and established agencies that would survive until things pick up. Unfortunately, her agency wasn’t going to be one of the survivors.

The major question that faces you as a manager right now is which of your staff goes and which stays? Without a question its cheaper to develop existing talent than it is to find new ones. An economic downturn is a good time to make such decisions. If you haven’t already, it might be a good time now to develop a performance managementsystem. Even with that though, its not as easy to decide who stays and who doesn’t.

One of the things I found helpful was to sit down and write down all the names of people in your team. Then rate them form 1-10 pretty much like the scores ballroom dancers or gymnasts get after a routine. The criteria should be along the lines of whose work performance in terms of achieving the objectives of the job they do merits a 10 out of 10?  If they have done everything that they were expected to do, then its a 10 out of 10. Lower point score if they failed to do some things. Obviously for this to be a fair judgement, their job outline and whats expected should be 100% clear to them. Your goal should be to find the ‘best’. By doing this, you will identify who has the relevant behavior to enable the business to grow. That’s how you as a manager are judged, bybusiness growth of your area. Why shouldn’t your staff have the same criteria?

Downturn or no downturn, regular performance evaluations are essential. In any economic climate, no business can afford to have ‘dead wood’ hanging about. Part of your job as a manager is to make sure that you keep your best people. You need to understand who they are and make sure they understand whats expected of them. If they can score a ten out of ten with you and they’re recognized for their success then they’re far less likely to leave which means you wont be wasting valuable time and money finding your next ‘top gun’.

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