An Emotionally Intelligent Performance management process helps to embed culture and increase Employee Engagement
Effective and Emotionally Intelligent performance management supports behaviours that increase engagement, helps embed these behaviours in the organisation’s culture Employee Engagement and culture programmes need to be aligned with the organisation’s strategic goals. Employee Engagement is the extent to which employees are motivated to add to organisational success and are willing to apply their discretionary effort to meeting strategic goals.
An Emotionally Intelligent Performance management process helps build relationships and drive strategic success. Initially it requires more work from the manager but the dividends are worth the effort. A 15-20 minute session once a week with each direct report, just over 1 hour per month helps keep employees engaged, embeds the right behaviours and reduces the stress and potentially negative impacts of quarterly reviews. A poorly managed quarterly review can increase disengagement. Poor behaviour and manager-employee relationship issues are far harder to “fix” after the fact. Research shows that the relationship with their direct manager has the greatest impact on Employee Engagement and productivity (Towers Watson, Gallup).
Touch base at least once per week with each direct report. Have a book, or digital record of each touch point.
Each touch point should be 15-20 minutes. Keep these points in mind when holding your weekly touch points.
- Learn about them as a human being. We all want to be acknowledged as individuals. If we do not know our direct reports we may inadvertently send the message that we only care about the results and that they do not matter. This can increase disengagement as they feel they are only a number who needs to produce results.
- Use the SCARF model to keep the conversation on track.
- Ask: How are you living the Organisational values? (for each of the organisational core values e.g. Service, fun and innovation). Keep the examples specific to avoid vague references to the organisation’s values.
- Ask: What is the impact of these behaviours on you?
- Ask: What is the impact of these actions on your customers?
- Once a month do an individual SWOT analysis to determine areas of development. (SW personal, OT external)
- Strengths: Look for ways to acknowledge and augment strengths (Gallup strength finder). Utilise what they do best each day.
- Weaknesses: Look for was to help with areas of weakness or manage around them. Some areas can be developed, some may require creative solutions.
- Opportunities: Ask for innovation ideas (process, product or people). What could be done differently, streamlined or improved?
- Threats: Ask for people, process or product (market) threats which could impact strategic goals. What are customers (internal or external) complaining about? What is happening in you market?
- Discover what their passions are and what motivates them. This helps recognise achievement effectively. Giving a diabetic a box of chocolates for achieving a sales target may only show you don’t know them vs making them feel acknowledged. One size fits all rewards tend to demotivate. Custom fit rewards are far more effective.
- Remember the recognition ratio during these touch points to drive engagement. Research has shown employees want most recognition from their direct manager (50% recognition from direct manager, 30% from peers and 20% from the organisation). Ask questions about their successes, achievements and those of their colleagues. How did their peers support them, how did they support their peers in achievement of success?
- Seek areas of FLOW (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi) and “frog” sticking points.
Summarise these touch points monthly. These sessions form the basis for the quarterly performance conversations agains performance management metrics.
The questions and discussions in this Performance management process link directly to the Gallup Q12 Employee Engagement questions:
- Do I know what is expected of me at work?
- Do I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right?
- At work, do I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day?
- In the last seven days, have I received recognition or praise for good work?
- Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?
- Is there someone at work who encourages my development?
- At work, do my opinions seem to count?
- Does the mission/purpose of my organization make me feel like my work is important?
- Are my co-workers committed to doing quality work?
- Do I have a close friend at work?
- In the last six months, have I talked with someone about my progress?
- At work, have I had opportunities to learn and grow?
Key take away: Your performance management process should embed behaviours into your culture and increase Employee Engagement in line with the organisation’s strategic goals.
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