How can a performance management system help prevent underperformance?

Some of you may have read our recent white paper: I’ve got an underperformer…get them out of here! and in that paper we explained some of the causes of underperformance. Because this is a hot topic for many managers, we thought a blog was in order explaining specifically how a performance management system can help to prevent underperformance.

Shared Clarity

One of the primary causes of underperformance is lack of clarity. Unfortunately, this can evolve over time due to lack of clear goals and/or no corrective feedback about an individuals’ performance or lack of it.

If you want to prevent underperformance, this is where a performance management system can be your new best friend. It facilitates the setting of objectives and milestones covering key results areas and enables them to be reviewed regularly. Some performance management systems like Actus are particularly helpful as they also allow you to comment against objectives over the course of the year. This provides a helpful and clear data trail for feedback and progress.

Nip performance issues in the bud

Reviewing these objectives and milestones regularly during one to ones and recording them in the system is also a great way of preventing underperformance in the first place or nipping performance issues in the bud. If you have a performance management system like Actus that helps you embed a culture of regular one-to-ones and document them, then this process should be really straight-forward. Conducting regular one-to-ones is a critical part of ensuring that any potential performance issues are discussed early and are hopefully prevented. Documenting this process provides clarity and a data trail that can be referred back to, demonstrating that people are being managed fairly and consistently and protecting your business from litigation if things go wrong

Dealing with underperformance

Identifying development needs

Another way in which a good performance management system can help to turn around performance is by identifying and clearly defining development needs and tracking achievement of these. All too often development is seen as afterthought of an appraisal process or a reward for good behaviour. It would be better if it were seen as an incredibly important way of improving performance and developing talent. In actual fact your performance management system should help you to put the ‘Why’ into development and the ‘How’ into Talent Management by helping people understand why they need to learn certain new skills and help you as a business manage and develop your talent.

Actus empowers people to manage and record their own development including self study and on the job learning, helping people to realise that learning is their responsibility and giving L&D greater visibility of training needs. This makes it easier for them to provide ‘just in time training’, helping people to upskill even faster and reducing the likelihood of underperformance.

Audit trail of performance

Finally, if you do have to go formal with performance improvement plans or disciplinary action, then having a documented audit trail is highly important to demonstrate fairness and avoid litigation. A performance management system like Actus gives you the structure, transparency and rigour to help you deal with issues fairly.

If you would like to find out more about how the Actus Performance Management System can help you deal with performance issues book a free demo by clicking on the button below. 

Request Free Actus Software Demo

White paper on underperformance