Managing Performance and Expectations In Your Team

Are you confident that your employees understand the performance expectations of their current roles? Is your feedback timely and relevant? Are you helping your team stay engaged and motivated?

That is a lot of questions to answer!

But, in the current fast-changing landscape of business, they are important questions to consider.

There is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now. People are developing a different set of needs based on recent events and the way the world is behaving.

With many businesses evolving and adapting thanks to COVID-19, it is the ideal time to review the way you communicate expectations and manage performance with your employees.

Let’s do a quick check-in to see if everyone is on the same page.

The Importance of Managing Expectations

Imagine you are training to be a pro athlete – let’s say a high jumper for the sake of this example.

At the beginning of your training, your coach tells you to practice jumping to be ready to qualify for nationals in six months. They hand you some running shoes, point you in the direction of the track, book you in for a review in five and a half months, and leave you to it.

What are your chances of successfully qualifying without any other assistance?

Pretty slim, right? You don’t know the height to aim for to qualify, get no feedback on your technique to improve, and have very little motivation or accountability to get you even close.

No coach worth their money would train someone without laying out expectations, giving continual feedback, and reviewing performance. But unfortunately, many employers and managers do just that to their employees.

We would go so far as to say that without clear expectations for your team members, it’s impossible to hold people accountable. And you can forget about managing performance altogether! Honestly, how can you expect people to meet your expectations if you don’t clarify what you expect of them!?

Setting Clear Expectations

Much like managing performance, setting expectations should be an ongoing conversation rather than an infrequent event. People develop their skills, clients adjust their needs, and even routine jobs and tasks can change, particularly as businesses adjust to life post-lockdown.

Ensure you stay up to date and redefine expectations as necessary. Don’t just assume that everyone is on the same page about any changes that have been made. It’s time to hone those communication skills and ensure everyone knows exactly what needs to be accomplished (and by whom and when!).

Where possible, capture the expectations as part of a written performance development plan, as key performance indicators or milestones.

Development vs Reviews

If someone is falling short of your expectations, try asking yourself if those expectations are clear. Of course they are to you, but are they crystal clear to your employee? As in the high-jumper example, it’s hard to be motivated if you don’t really understand what you should be doing or why.

Once the expectations are laid out clearly, your employees are far more likely to be engaged and motivated.

Keep your team on track with effective performance management that is relevant, timely, positive, and forward-focused. To get you into the right mindset, it can be helpful to reframe “performance reviews” as “development reviews.”

This approach focuses on helping employees develop their skills and grow with the business, rather than focusing too heavily on the things that went wrong.

If you have regular catch-ups designed to lead your people and your business forward with a growth mindset, they will feel as if they are on a journey with you, and life will be that much easier for everyone!

The word ‘uncertain’ keeps cropping up in conversation lately. And rightly so, these are uncertain times in many regards. Which is why managing performance and setting expectations is so important for your team.

If you are unsure how to tackle that in the current circumstances, then get in touch with us here at Spice HR. Together, we can help you navigate through the uncertainty. Drop us a line today!

HR Basics – What You Need To Know

Human Resources Management… it all sounds rather clinical, doesn’t it!

But as we all know, people are NOT simple machines. They are complex creatures, and managing them takes time, energy, and understanding.

The people that work in a business are its biggest asset. They can mean the difference between exponential growth and success, and mediocrity – or even failure.

Getting your HR systems and processes in order should be a top priority for any company, regardless of how many employees it has. With the right foundation, any pain points that may appear down the line are easier to manage.

Here are the most important HR basics for any business.

 

HR Basics – What You Need To Know

Recruitment

Skills and experience are important, but recruiting someone who is the right fit for the role and culture is equally important. When employee values align with company values, employees are happier, more productive, and more loyal. Bad hires are costly and time-consuming, so getting the right person should be a top priority.

 

Clear Individual Employment Agreements

To protect both the employer and employee, a solid contract is essential. Both parties should understand their rights and obligations. Employment agreements are an opportunity to legally set up the working relationship and are a crucial term of reference if any disputes should arise.

 

Simple, Up To Date Job Descriptions

A well-written job description is a vital part of a healthy employee/employer relationship. It is useful in the recruitment phase as it helps to match the right person to the position. But it doesn’t stop there. It also allows managers to set employee expectations and manage performance.

Without a job description, there’s no way to track, measure, or manage what your employee does in their role, which can be a recipe for disaster.

 

Welcome And On-Boarding

Every new employee should be given a standard induction and a chance to be appropriately welcomed into a business from day one. This allows them to review all the paperwork, understand what is expected of them, get familiar with how things work, and start integrating into the team. It also introduces them to the culture of your workplace and ensures they feel part of the team from the very start of their employment.

 

Handbook And Expectations

Your employee handbook is a vital tool to communicate all the most important company information succinctly and clearly. It should include company policies, health and safety information, codes of conduct, discipline and termination information, as well as any other information specific to your workplace.

Each employee should sign to indicate they have read and understood the handbook.

 

Regular Feedback

Every person in your business needs feedback, no matter what level they are working at. Feedback helps set goals and expectations for all parties, track progress, and nip any issues in the bud before they get too serious.

Annual performance reviews aren’t enough. Instead, try to create a culture of immediate, helpful, and honest feedback given regularly. Think one on one discussions, informal catch-ups and conversational reviews.

 

Training And Development

Developing and upskilling your staff is a great way to boost employee satisfaction and retention. Not only will it directly benefit your business when employees learn new skills, but the productivity and engagement that people put back into your business will be well worth the investment.

 

Need to nail the HR basics at your workplace? Then give us a call here at Spice HR. We can help you to create the foundation for the kind of workplace your employees love to come to. Getting the HR basics right is the first step towards a great workplace culture and a productive workforce.

Get in touch with us today.