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News - 17.05.2021

Posted by Aisling Teillard

News - 17.05.2021

The benefits of a people-focused approach in performance management


It’s no secret that getting your employees on board with your goals and values can enable greater success within a business. But what’s the best approach to achieving this? Well, it can be said that challenging traditional ‘system-focused methods of performance management and gearing towards people-focused management styles is the answer.

In a recent Forbes article, Srikant Chellappa proposes a ‘superior alternative’ to traditional forms of people management. He believes that ‘People Enablement’ is the way forward. According to Chelleppa, this approach is built on trust, alignment, and support; and with recent changes in the workplace, it’s more important than ever before.  

Why lean towards a people-centric approach to performance management?

When we are connected remotely, outside of an office situation, micromanaging can damage employee morale and productivity. It’s better to get ahead of the curve with developing systems, processes, and a culture that reflects the modern workplace. This can help employees feel enabled leading them to become more engaged in their work as disengagement is often the result of insufficient performance management practices.

That’s exactly why managers are leaning towards a human-centric approach to performance management. Some of the core aspects of a people-centric approach include building authentic relationships with your people, prioritising employee wellbeing, regularly checking in, providing support and coaching, and recognition over rewards.

The idea of a ‘top-down approach to managing employee performance is becoming somewhat outdated as businesses evolve. Some believe that top-down management practices are necessary when setting clear goals and expectations, but they can leave employees feeling powerless. This in turn can lead to a lack of motivation. What’s more, modern practices enable the same level of clear goal-setting without relying on a top-down management style.

For instance, letting people take control of managing their performance can be beneficial in several ways. The results are astonishing when employees are given constructive guidance from managers, as well as HR being an enabler for positive change and the achievement of goals.

This method can encourage learning and growth, enabling each employee to realise their full potential individually and as a key contributor to the company. The challenge often lies in putting an adequate system in place to make this happen. This is where performance management systems such as Our Tandem can help. Our platform allows for an intuitive experience, it’s easy-to-use meaning people need limited guidance. It provides a seamless end-to-end experience that provides a foundation for a people-focused performance management system.

System-focused vs people-focused performance management: a comparison

To further illustrate the differences between a people-focused and a system-focused approach, let’s look at two workplace scenarios.

In scenario A, an employee is briefed on projects and tasks that must be completed. They struggle to complete the work to a sufficient standard. The employee feels that certain changes could improve the way they do things. The employee feels that certain changes could improve the way they do things. They feel there is little point in trying to communicate this to their manager as it could be difficult to get their time and attention. The employee may also believe their feelings aren’t taken seriously. They become frustrated and increasingly disengaged from their work overtime.

In this scenario, there is little or no communication between the employee and their manager regarding their performance or how they feel about their systems and processes. They are not getting the support they need. On completion of the task, they once again return to the same cycle feeling discouraged and frustrated.

In scenario B, the employee is briefed on the projects and tasks they must complete. After a while, the employee is struggling to meet deadlines. They notice that there are certain aspects of their processes that could be improved. The employee reaches out to a manager through their performance management system, such as Our Tandem. The manager and employee then engage in a two-way stream of conversation. The manager and the employee efficiently discuss their options. The employee feels empowered and is happy being heard. The quality of their work improves as a result of feeling at ease. 

What can be taken from this example is the understanding that a working relationship with those you manage is a relationship after all. Any strong relationship involves adequate communication. In a work scenario, sometimes all that’s missing is a vehicle through which the employee and their manager can easily communicate.

So what are some of the benefits of a people-focused system?
  • It can help employees align with broader company goals.
  • It increases the likelihood that employees will feel like they have a greater purpose within an organisation.
  • A people-focused approach makes being managed a more enjoyable experience.
  • It means focusing on nurturing talents which can lead to a higher standard of work.
  • The focus on a two-way stream of conversation can be beneficial for managers providing feedback and for employees who need support.
How Our Tandem supports a people-focused system

Our Tandem gives employees the chance to engage managers and HR in an open dialogue. It opens up a support network for the employee. It allows us to move away from a somewhat mechanical system towards a humanised workplace where communication is key.

When we fail to recognise employees as human beings, they may be left feeling detached from their work. When it comes to humanising performance management, it’s almost crucial that employees participate as much as possible. It should be the case that employees have a desire to engage with their managers and HR so that the process can be streamlined, supporting the employee in reaching their fullest potential. When we engage and entrust employees, it legitimises their capabilities, driving them to succeed: an empowered employee is a valuable employee. 

It seems that the modernisation of performance management goes hand-in-hand with the idea of humanising the workplace. When performance management systems are designed for human beings, it improves the employee experience and engagement, driving better results. What’s good for the employee as an individual, is good for the business – and Our Tandem is there to help you put your people first.

Want to find out how Our Tandem can bring value to your organisation?  Book a no-strings-attached chat today.

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