Many businesses will understand the concept of performance management as working towards meeting targets and key performance indicators (KPIs). Their employees will often work towards their objectives that contribute to the overall success of the business. Often though, this strand of performance management is used in a narrow individual context. An employee will contribute more than this and will have a wider impact on their company and its performance. So strategic performance management looks at the bigger picture from a more holistic perspective.
In this blog, we look at what strategic performance management is, why it’s important and how HR software can help it.
What is strategic performance management?
There are various definitions of what strategic performance management is. intelliHR defines it as, “strategic performance management aligns employees with overall organisational strategy through clear objectives and expectations, leadership, and communication to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal”. Spiceworks also has a similar definition, “strategic performance management is defined as the methodology to improve performance measurement, monitoring, and improvement to achieve overall organisational objectives”.
The key is that there will be a clear link between individual and company performance. An employee’s objectives will be aligned with company objectives and there will be mechanisms in place to monitor this performance.
Why is strategic performance management important?
When an employee understands what they are doing makes a difference and contributes to the company’s goals, you have a powerful combination. By setting clear, realistic expectations and goals, employees will be engaged and motivated. They will be keen to develop and this will also impact positively on areas such as absence and retention.
When an employee isn’t engaged, they often turn up for work and go through the motions. They tend to do the bare minimum and simply go home. On the flip side, if you use strategic performance management correctly then your teams will be bought in. They will be clear about the company strategy. They won’t waste time on tasks that don’t add value and productivity will increase.
Gathering, analysing and harnessing data is an important facet of strategic performance management. Some companies will use what is called a balanced scorecard to examine different elements of data, which then informs their approach to strategic performance management. Other organisations have established KPIs, which measure what matters to the success of the business. This data should be regularly monitored, reviewed and communicated so that everyone knows what is going well and what could be improved.
Creating a positive business culture is important and strategic performance management helps to set and maintain a culture. Where there is a clearly defined strategy, into which employees have an input, then they are happy and comfortable. Teamwork and collaboration also increase and a culture is created which includes staff, gives them a voice and means that excellence becomes the norm.
How can HR software help with your business’s strategic performance management?
HR software can support strategic performance management in several ways. It can be used as a communication tool via pop-up messages or scrolling banners. It allows you to post messages to employees relating to performance or have scrolling reminders about company targets or strategy messages.
HR software will hold all your employee documents in one easily accessible place. You can quickly and easily review notes of performance management meetings and targets and see a progression over some time.
HR software also contains a plethora of employee data. Some of which may form part of your company KPIs such as staff turnover, headcount or sickness absence rates. By holding this data all in one place it is simple to report on, analyse for trends and track progress which will make strategic performance management more effective and efficient.