Performance Management Techniques
Performance Management Techniques: Remember the Resources!
“Performance Management Techniques” is the sixth article in our series on how to motivate employees. Setting clear performance goals is crucial, but it can be difficult to achieve these without adequate resources. Or worse, poorly resourced action plans can be counter-productive, leading to burnout or disengagement by the people who must implement it.
Of course we live in a real world and only a lucky few managers are blessed with unlimited resources. Managing resource constraints may be a fact of life. However, they should never be used as an excuse to overlook the link between resourcing, motivation and success. To the contrary, it makes the issue of resources even more important. Properly resourcing action plans is essential. If this is not possible, your action plans must be realistic, especially if you really want to give people every chance of succeeding. This is one of the most important performance management techniques available to any manager and it the focus of this article.
The article below is part of our series on How to Motivate Employees to PERFORM. Knowing how to motivate employees is one of the most important performance management techniques. As important though, is the need to manage the factors that contribute to that motivation, and to create the conditions for people toperform and realise their potential. Our tool to help you achieve these management skills is the ApexPERFORM model. It stands for:
- P – Potential
- E – Expertise
- R – Results
- F – Focus
- O – Opportunities
- R – Resources
- M – Motivation
For performance based management to work, resources need to be allocated and managed in order to support employees in their work. There will clearly be costs associated with this aspect, but knowing how to motivate employees is not enough. We must be prepared to resource it.
Resources can come in many forms, and it helps to be creative (or resourceful) in the kind of resources you might use. For example, consider:
- Organizational resources – it’s all too easy for staff to be de-motivated if they do not have the resources to actually do their job. Make sure you allocate physical resources to support work. Don’t forget that time is also a resource, so ensure workload allocation addresses deadline issues.
- Development resources – resourcing an employee’s development will involve freeing up time, and providing either in-house or external programmes.
- People resources – any support that is needed from peers, colleagues, managers, mentors, family, friends and reference groups.
- Personal resources – an individual’s own resources, their own expertise, values and determination to achieve.
“We haven’t got the money, so we’ve got to think.”No discussion of performance management techniques would be complete without considering the link between resources and performance. This is a fundamental aspect of performance based management, and one that rarely happens in practice. When an individual’s performance delivers results for the organisation, it can be due to a combination of two factors.
Firstly, because the resources have been allocated appropriately. Secondly, because people have made up for resource shortfalls, by hard work, initiative or ingenuity.
Arguably, the greatest resource you have at your disposal, is the resourcefulness of people. Tapping into this resourcefulness can often help you find creative ways to overcome resource constraints. As Lord Rutherford, the father of modern nuclear physics, commented:
“We haven’t got the money, so we’ve got to think.”
Resources are usually in short supply, so it’s essential that resource use is linked to performance. Too often, particularly with training and development budgets, the resources required are not clearly linked to performance. We’ll be discussing specific ways to do this in future pages on performance management techniques.