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Performance Management is a priority for many when the going gets tough

Performance Management is a priority for many when the going gets tough

Addressing performance and the cost base is a priority for most organisations.

Understanding the organisational barriers to performance is complex, but important if an organisation is to thrive during more challenging economic times. Getting the right organisational structures, people and processes in place can add significantly to the ‘bottom line’ whilst retaining key skills and capability for when things get better.

Significant competitive advantage can be achieved through effective performance management, yet we find that often this area is a challenge for many organisations who either ignore the need to manage organisational and employee performance or who fail to maximise the benefits an effective process can deliver.

It is not just about people. It’s about organisational effectiveness in terms of structures, accountabilities and productivity. These factors are critical to building a competitive edge because often significant cost savings and improvements to accountability can be derived from them.

Downturns Can Be Less Painful

The experience of past downturns shows that failing to have a proper organisational and people plan can mean that inefficiencies, duplications and unwieldy organisational structures hamper both performance and an organisation’s ability to respond in an agile way. By planning effectively, the pain caused can be significantly reduced.

Our six-point plan delivers tangible results based on numerous client implementations:

  • Ramsey Hall often carries out organisational reviews which are a cost-effective way of benchmarking the organisations structure, processes and organisational capability. The report often contains evidence-based cost efficiency recommendations which can save clients thousands of pounds. Post Brexit economic concerns need not necessarily lead to less profits if the organisation adapts to the new order.
  • If restructuring is needed it is important to engage with experts who understand how to manage the process. RH Careers can support the process through our career transition practice.
  • Make sure leaders and managers are up for the challenges the business faces. Past performance or ‘craft skills’ alone is not a guide to future success in the role. In our experience significant barriers to change are often due to management and leadership resistance. Change readiness is currently a hot HR topic because the evidence increasingly shows that change management most commonly fails because the organisation and people are simply not ready.
  • Understanding the drivers of performance in terms of people capability as well as actual attainment is essential. Too often the wrong people are in the wrong job with damage to the ‘bottom line’ being perpetuated through inaction or ‘tick box appraisals’. Having robust performance criteria is a minimum for every organisation, given the proven link between people and performance.
  • Reviewing existing performance management processes, for example, how performance is linked with reward; how staff are evaluated and developed; are key performance indicators in place and are behavioural expectations clear? The OPG has worked closely with many clients to help articulate the corporate strategy into clearly defined behavioural competencies, clear role profiles and clear expectations. Achieving vertical alignment between strategy, objectives and people is essential.
  • Are your leaders up for the job? – A simple but valid question. Many organisations are held back by poor leadership and this capability gap is often best detected using objective assessment and benchmarked executive appraisals. Our approach is to use business simulation tools, 360-degree feedback and/or psychometrics with depth interviews. This objective assessment usually involves our multidisciplined senior HR and business psychology experts. Understanding capability and potential amongst your senior team is critical because leadership needs to change as and when the business environment changes.

Measured Response

The key to success in tough times is to make sure your organisation is ready for the change and, where appropriate, engage with experts who can help improve productivity and performance through evidence-based approaches. Capability assessment and benchmarking is also defensible when restructuring needs to be justified and can be communicated objectively with stakeholders as needed.

In our experience this need not be a particularly expensive exercise but the return on investment is likely, in many cases, to be substantial. For further details contact Matthew Davis at medavis@ramseyhall.com or telephone 02380 236 944.

How Ramsey Hall & The OPG Can Help

Our consulting team includes a former Chief People Officer for a major firm of consulting engineers, Organisational & Occupational Psychologists and Transformational Change experts as well as Internal Communications specialists. Our expertise is cost effective and, above all, multi-disciplined in all aspects of people, performance and transformational change.

About the Author

Matthew Davis is an Organisational Psychologist and Business Psychology expert who is currently a part time Doctorial researcher in Leadership & Organisational Psychology at The University of Sheffield. In addition, he has a Masters in Workplace Learning & Performance Management from The University of Leicester and is a Chartered Fellow of both the CIPD and the CIM. He regularly advises clients on all aspects of people and performance.

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