The key to performance management is accountability. Accountability requires each person in the organization to be able to point to what they have personally done to move the organization closer to its preferred future.
Holding individuals accountable for results is what brings discipline to a culture. A focus on results that matter is what gives individuals the guidepost they need to make daily decisions about how they use their time. The single biggest obstacle for every employee is the plethora of competing priorities they face every day.
Determining results that matter requires us to be clear about expected outcomes and engaging individuals in defining what it will take to accomplish those outcomes in a detailed Action Plan. An accounting of progress against the Action Plan needs to happen on a monthly basis ideally using a consistent, transparent process for creating and sharing monthly Progress Reports.
Monthly Progress Reports provide the accountability every individual needs to stay on track with their performance. Time spent between a manager and their direct report reviewing monthly Progress Reports can be focused on problem solving, evaluating resources and making course corrections. Everyone in the organization needs to be able to connect their daily work with the long term goals of the company. Although it may initially feel like another ‘to do’ on a long list, that accountability is actually the key to performance management.