5 steps to improve performance management

Few employees believe their manager excels at even the most basic performance tasks.

Gallup's State of the American Manager report found that only 12 percent of employees agree that their manager helps them set work priorities, while 13 percent agree that their manager helps them set performance goals.

Although aligning people, processes and systems is difficult, leaders must ensure they lay the tracks for high employee performance. Here are five steps leaders can take to create better performance management, according to Gallup.

1. Clarify your purpose and brand. Above all, leaders must distinguish and communicate why the company exists and what it is known for. By having clarity of purpose, the organization can differentiate itself from the competition.

2. Improve organizational culture. Gallup identified five tenets of a strong organizational culture: Leadership and communication, values and rituals, human capital practices and policies, work teams and structures, and performance. CEOs and other senior leaders have the greatest authority in improving an organization's culture and they must serve as a pillar of this culture to ensure success.

3. Study top performers. By observing top performers, leaders can obtain information about how employees want to be managed and how to further each employee's success. Additionally, through observation leaders can develop accurate strategies for selecting and developing employees.

4. Use predictive analytics. Using a systematic approach to scientifically choose top performers has numerous benefits. Utilizing such an approach can allow companies to identify employees with innate manager potential.

5. Align people and processes. Executives are ultimately responsible for bringing people and processes together. While this technique is one of the most challenging, leaders must do so to guarantee that the company's approach to performance is the best it can be.

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