Performance Management Process, From Planning to Execution

An effective performance management process can help everyone in the organization understand how their actions and contributions create value, and is much more involved than merely providing an annual review for each employee. It is about working together with each individual employee on a personal level to identify the strengths and weaknesses in their performance. Then, once those traits are detected, developing a detailed plan to close the performance gaps and implement the necessary improvements to set them up for success and enable them to evolve into a more productive and effective employee.

Performance Management Process, From Planning to Execution 

The bottom line is that a performance management process is an ongoing practice, not a once-a-year task. It’s a strategic way to improve results within your organization by ensuring employees get the continual direction, feedback, and development they need to develop and succeed. It helps everyone in the organization understand and improve the impact of their own work, whether they are individual contributors, supervisors, managers, or senior leaders.

The overall process involves goal-setting, evaluation, and reward. And when it’s executed correctly, employees become more valuable contributors to the organization.

But what steps are involved in the process, and how can technology be leveraged to make it more efficient?

Let’s take a closer look at the steps to take to help everyone in your organization work to their full potential.

Step #1 – Data Collection

The performance management process begins by collecting relevant, personalized performance data for every employee in the organization. Unfortunately, most call centers, back office operations, and other data-rich environments include a host of legacy reporting systems that do not communicate effectively with each other. In many of these environments, performance data is not available directly to front-line employees. Instead, supervisors need to download, compile, and organize performance data for every member of their team, usually on a manual spreadsheet. This process can be tremendously time-consuming, and as performance data proliferates, the need to provide it to employees can become a substantial burden. Supervisors spend time simply reporting information instead of supporting their employees or coaching to help them improve.

This is just one area where the ROI of an automated performance management system is immediately noticeable. NICE Performance Management frees supervisors from the unproductive work of reporting, enables them to focus their time on helping their employees perform more effectively, and drives employee improvement and engagement via personalized performance programs.

Step #2 – Provide Prompt Insights

Once the performance data has been collected, it needs to be mined for actionable insights, because data alone is not sufficient for improving performance. This depends on identifying specific gaps or opportunities for growth, whether they are due to skills, knowledge, attitude, mindset, or business processes.

Without a comprehensive performance management system in place, it may take a supervisor weeks or months to sit down and discuss a call event with an agent. After such a long wait, these discussions will often have little value. NICE Performance Management empowers agents to evaluate their own performance in the moment, so they can take action on their own, without waiting for a supervisor to intervene.

Step #3 – Motivation to Take Action

When employees are provided with the transparency of personalized results and the insight of understanding the behaviors behind the numbers, they become more motivated to take the appropriate actions that lead to improvement.

This enables the individual employee to manage their own performance more effectively, with less reliance on their supervisor or team leader. In turn, this allows supervisors and managers to target their coaching more effectively, provide more relevant rewards and incentives, and more easily identify and implement necessary changes in policies, procedures, and training.

NICE Performance Management includes a variety of tools and dashboards that facilitate the process of root cause analysis, enabling supervisors and managers to quickly look behind the numbers and determine the specific behaviors that represent the best opportunities for improvement. And by using artificial intelligence, NPM points to what is required for employees to achieve their goals.

Step #4 – Gamification

In today’s business climate, it’s become extremely common to use gamification as a method to increase employee engagement and motivation. Its unique potential can be leveraged in the performance management process by creating a competitive peer network focused on superior execution and consistent performance. This helps to establish personal stakes and heightened engagement that go far beyond a simple employee rating or scorecard.

NICE Performance Management includes a gamification platform that features cooperative and competitive pursuits, incentives, and rewards that can be tied to performance goals, as well as engaging ways to share best practices with colleagues. It also provides an excellent structure to recognize contributors for their unique strengths. Employees earn recognition for improving their own performance, and supervisors can use the gamification framework to share even better training and enrichment materials.

Step #5 – Guided Coaching

In the fast-paced environment of contact centers, supervisors are often expected to coach employees before they have identified the source of a performance problem or the appropriate focus for improvement. Not only is this counterintuitive, it also provides little chance for success. Instead, coaching should be a more cooperative and participatory process, where both the supervisor and employee follow a structured approach to prepare for the discussion before a coaching session. This enables employees to participate more actively in their own development.

NICE Performance Management supplies this structure while also driving best practices in the coaching discussion itself. It documents the discussion and the action plan for both the supervisor and the employee, and includes automated alerts and reminders for due dates of learning modules and new performance milestones. So NICE Performance Management supports a collaborative coaching process that engages employees and helps gain their buy-in for the specific behavior changes that can lead to increased effectiveness and better performance results.

Step #6 – Coaching Measurement

Call centers, back offices, sales teams, and field service organizations often have a host of measurements relating to front-line performance. But they rarely – if ever – have any measures of the effectiveness of their coaches. This is an area of significant opportunity, and NICE Performance Management fills the gap with Coaching Effectiveness dashboards that clearly highlight the relationship between coaching activity and results. And the same principles of data collection, insight, and motivation to take appropriate action can be applied to drive improvements in supervisor performance as well.

Supervisors – and their managers – can see at a glance how they are allocating their coaching time and effort, and if they’re achieving the desired results. The Coaching Effectiveness dashboards provide valuable feedback that enables supervisors to self-correct, and enables managers to target their “coach the coach” activities more effectively.

NICE Performance Management

NICE Performance Management does so much more than just aggregate data and report results. It brings together oceans of data from multiple sources and provides a single picture of contact center performance, enabling customers to achieve their contact center objectives by focusing on the employee and driving their performance and engagement.

It supports continuous improvement and drives organizational value by harnessing three key elements: data collection, insights, and motivation to take appropriate action.

For front-line supervisors and coaches with more responsibilities than spare time, it helps create plans of attack to bring individual contributors in line with organizational goals. And for senior leaders, it helps develop and sustain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

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