Do-It-Yourself Performance Planning Program
In this Module, we’ll describe the program and what we expect it to do for your business or organization. We’ll also introduce you to the other elements available to complete the program, including the simple, practical forms used in each of those elements. In all, these modules will give you the information and the tools to create a total program which, if used diligently and consistently, will improve productivity, employee job satisfaction and profitability.
Virtually all large organizations use some form of Performance Planning; it’s simply a necessary tool to effectively manage the various duties and responsibilities and the team performing them. We know that Managers and Supervisors are busy, so this program is designed to require a minimum amount of time for development, implementation and ongoing use and maintenance.
We’ll also describe what Performance Planning is; review the various features and benefits; and demonstrate how and why it’s an integral part of your overall Business Plan and Budgeting process. Employees like to know when they’re doing a good job and this program will help you do that. Also, we believe that no employee should be fired for bad behavior or poor performance and have it come as a surprise. A basic Personnel Policy will usually handle the “bad behavior” part and the Appraisal system will take care of the “poor performance” aspect.
So, what is Performance Planning? It’s a program to formally set and measure individual employee responsibilities and objectives. When all employees meet their individual objectives, the organization as a whole will likely meet its objectives. This program will create a set of responsibilities and objectives for each position, assigning them to the employees in those positions, then continuously and consistently evaluate how well those responsibilities and objectives were met. This program includes a process for employees to provide feedback to the organization, identify their own career aspirations and then match their personal objectives with those of the organization wherever possible. That’s what leads to improved employee job satisfaction. This program provides tools to help recruit and hire the right people, help them be responsible and accountable while feeling good about being part of a winning team.
Let’s review features and benefits of a complete Performance Planning program.
Matching Organization and Employee Objectives
This means the program should attempt to match the employee’s career goals and aspirations with the objectives of the company or organization.
Identifying Company Expectations
We believe a lot of supervisory time can be saved by defining the tasks and responsibilities of a given position – so the employee is doing the right thing. Then we need a simple, regular evaluation process to illustrate that those same tasks and responsibilities are being done right.
Identifying responsibilities for specific time periods
It is extremely beneficial to communicate with employees, formally on a regular basis and informally as situations dictate. Setting up a review schedule will help employees in reaching objectives within established timelines and ultimately will improve job satisfaction as well.
Identifying consequences of performance and behavior.
The Personnel Policy should identify the company’s expectations of the employee and also explain what the employee can expect from the company. We recommend that new employees be required to read and sign off on the company Personnel Policy the first day on the job.
Providing a basic communication line between employee and supervisor.
We need to discuss issues as they arise, but unless we schedule sessions like staff meetings, and especially the regular performance reviews, we often don’t have true “communication”. By its very definition, communication needs to be two-way and that is best accomplished by scheduling performance or progress reviews on a regular basis.
Provides consistency in performance and behavior evaluation.
Weighting of objectives and responsibilities also assists in making appraisals consistent among all employees. Employees are very aware when supervisors appear to use different standards, depending on who is being evaluated.
Reducing the need for day-to-day supervision.
Owners and managers want to take the least amount of time assigning various duties and responsibilities. Much of that time can be avoided if Job Descriptions clearly identify key objectives and responsibilities. The Workplan / Appraisals will help identify priorities.
It Reduces “Crisis Management” Situations
We recommend that where there is an Owner or Manager, Supervisory staff and junior staff, a simple Organizational Chart should be developed to define lines of authority. However, each position must have a Job Description which identifies key responsibilities and also the more senior position to which that position reports.
Provides a continuous record of employee’s skill development.
As mentioned previously, formal performance appraisals should be completed 2 to 4 times each year; informal progress discussions should be held more often. A review of past appraisals will assist a supervisor in monitoring the skill development of individual employees. This leads to improved productivity and employee job satisfaction.
Helping facilitate delegation.
When Owners and Managers who start out with only one or two employees, they are quite capable of defining and monitoring performance and behavior. However, as the organization grows in the number of employees, it becomes increasingly difficult to do so. They then want a management tool that will help with delegation while assisting with development of employee supervisory skills.
Provides a vehicle for employees to document their career goals and monitor progress.
We strongly suggest that any performance planning program include a document that employees would complete each year to document their career goals and the training they feel would be required to meet those goals. Supervisors can then compare those goals with those of the organization and, where appropriate, authorize the necessary training. Our Employee Career and Training Plan is the tool we provide to meet this need.
Major contributor to IMPROVED PERFORMANCE
All those features and benefits combine to provide improved performance and employee job satisfaction, leading directly to improved performance of the entire organization . Performance and job satisfaction go hand in hand and when we have both, we are likely to demonstrate greater overall profitability.
For a more detailed description of these Features and Benefits, visit our Articles Page.
We strongly recommend that if you don’t already have one, you should develop a Mission Statement for your organization. A Mission Statement is primarily a statement indicating your organization’s reason for existence. In other words, what do you do as an organization. Your Mission Statement should be simple, realistic and communicate easily what you’re doing, while demonstrating the value of your efforts to both employees and customers. It can indicate who you’re serving, the products and / or services being offered and what makes those products and / or services special or unique to your organization.
It is valuable to develop a Vision Statement to serve as your inspiration. It should be an emotional statement about where you expect to be in the future; a long term projection.
A Values Statement should be your guiding principles and core beliefs. It may indicate your morals and ethics, as well as speak to your feelings toward responsibility, recognition of individual differences and what you provide to society.
Your Mission, Vision and Values Statements will act as guides for your activities and a compass to help direct where you’re going and how you plan to get there. It has been said that, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will do.” When we put that into a positive context, it means that as an organization, it would be advantageous to know what the objectives are and how we might achieve them. Our Vision Statement describes our destination, our Mission Statement outlines what we do to get there and our Values Statement is our inspiration to do so with particularly high standards.
Annual Objectives and Budgets
Each year, we need to set specific operational objectives, including financial ones, which we expect to meet or exceed in the next 12 months. We can’t help you actually develop those objectives and budgets, but you need to have them in order to implement a Performance Planning program.
Organizational Charts play a very important role in a Performance Planning program. They illustrate lines of authority, they make possible career paths visible and they influence the wording used in Job Descriptions, as we’ll demonstrate in Module 4 of this series. So take some time and create your own Organizational Chart; you will find it a useful tool in your overall management.
Personnel Policy (Module 2)
A Personnel Policy may cover a wide range of topics and will vary somewhat depending on your organization. But there are some standard features that fit most organizations and we’ve included them in a basic Personnel Policy available as Module 2 in this series.
Recruitment and Hiring (Module 3)
We have two tools for you to use in this Module: First, a narrative on Recruitment and Hiring, covering Qualities of Superior Employees, The Cost of Hiring Errors, Identifying Superior Employees, The Search for Superior Employees and The Action Plan. Second, an introduction to Keldar Leadership and the website keldarleadership.com, to access Assessment Tools to help in hiring the best people to match the job.
Job Descriptions (Module 4)
Job Descriptions provide the basis for allocating the various duties and responsibilities that must be performed in your organization. Module 4 in this series shows you how to use Job Description Worksheets to develop Job Descriptions using your employees’ input. Then, from the Worksheets, we’ll show you how to create a simple, effective Job Description for each position in your organization.
Orientation Checklists (Module 5)
New employees must go through an orientation process, when coming on staff. This is covered in Module 4. It’s usually the responsibility of the new employee’s supervisor to ensure that the orientation is completed in a timely manner and such that acceptable productivity is achieved as quickly as possible.
Workplans and Appraisals (Module 6)
In Module 6, you will learn how to transfer duties and responsibilities from the Job Descriptions and, where applicable, the budget numbers, to a simple and effective combination Workplan / Appraisal. Depending on the position, there are 2 different Workplan / Appraisal forms for you to use.
Introduction Letters, Employee Career Plans and Duty Rosters (Module 7)
Module 7 in this series provides some great tools for developing and implementing your Performance Planning Program.
First, the Employee Career Plan.
Second, Duty Rosters.
This Module is available at a nominal cost, but is included at “no charge” if modules 2 through 6 are purchased.
* All prices on this site are in Canadian Currencies.