Your HR department places employment candidates, new hires and established employees through evaluations and performance reviews, but corporate performance management starts at a higher level and is system-wide. CPM also applies at the highest levels, giving C-level executives an idea of how they’re doing and where they might need to course-correct.
CPM helps you monitor and improve your performance as you manage performance of other people in your organization. An automated, mechanical system of check-boxes is no more effective for measuring managerial KPI than it is for employees. Instead of going with a rigid, numbers-heavy system, choose a CPM process that lets you collect meaningful performance information and use that data to gain insight into your future strategies.
Define Your Goals
You can’t reach your goals if you don’t know where they are. When your personal and professional compass points in the right direction, you can readily communicate that to the rest of the organization and steer your corporate ship the right way. It’s easy to get so bogged down with defining and quantifying goals that you don’t move beyond this step, so try to condense everything to a single piece of paper. If your CPM road map fills a booklet instead of a page, you aren’t being concise enough. Save those details for specific areas of your plan and focus instead on the greater goals first to ensure a cohesive, well-integrated plan.
Ask the Right (Tough) Questions
You don’t learn by asking easy or flattering questions but by asking the ones you know are difficult to answer. Great performance data comes from digging deeper than the surface metrics, such as sales figures or overall performance. Before you collect information, you need to find the richest sources by asking probing questions: What do your best customers expect of you, and how closely do you deliver on those expectations? What are the three things your employees most want to change? What are problem areas in your organization, and how can you address them effectively? Narrow these questions down to specifics and ask a few of them for each of your defined goals to give your plan greater focus.
Align Your Objectives and Behavior
Albert Einstein defined insanity as repeating an action again and again yet expecting a different result. His genius may have been for physics, but that pithy observation shows he had a fair amount of business acumen too. Take a closer look at your goals and the actions you’ve so far taken to achieve them; do they make sense together? How can you bring them into line? Which concrete steps can you take to make them work together more logically? Do your budgeting, risk management, project oversight and performance management analytics work in tandem, or are your metrics disparate and unconnected?
One of the toughest things any CEO has to do is embrace change. It’s easy to become stuck in one mode of thought that worked at the time but no longer defines your company today. After collecting data, your organization needs to analyze what it means and take action. Learn from the information you’ve collected and develop ways to put that knowledge to work. Sometimes it’s difficult to pinpoint areas that need improvement without targeting people, but it’s essential to get everyone on board with change – even when that change means doing a few things differently yourself. If analysis doesn’t lead to action, your CPM efforts aren’t effective.
Use CPM Software Intelligently
Automation shouldn’t be your only tool, but it’s still a valuable one. CPM software that lets you look at data from new angles, aggregates data to show larger trends and maps information against other metrics to let you drill deeper into the meanings behind variances. It will also shed new light on your performance as a whole and in great detail. Software isn’t your only answer, but it’s a pivotal part of an overall performance management solution.