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5 Performance Management Tips that Really Work

Want to increase the chances of achieving your goals and objectives? Track key outcomes and progress over time. With this information, you will know where things stand, what has been done, and what still needs to be done.

This is the essence of performance management.

Not all performance management interventions are created equal.

Some can be very effective. Others are less effective. And some are just a distraction or a waste of time.

What’s the difference?

In this article, we summarize insights from a recent large-scale analysis of performance management interventions (including more than 100 studies and nearly 20,000 people working to achieve specific goals and objectives).

Here are 5 performance management tips that really work.

1. Track progress more often

The more often people track key outcomes, the more likely they are to actually achieve their goals.

The reason performance management interventions work isn’t just that they cause people to keep track of outcomes, it’s actually because they cause people to track their outcomes more often.

2. Focus on the most important results

There are probably a number of things you could track, but it’s best to focus on the most important outcomes.

As the old saying goes, for this performance management tip, “keep your eyes on the prize.”

Take dieting for example. Research shows that people who track their weight more often are much more likely to lose weight. People who track instead what they eat are much more likely to change their diet, but less likely to actually lose weight.

3. Share the results

The data doesn’t tell us exactly why, but performance management is much less effective when people track their progress but keep it to themselves.

People are more likely to achieve their goals when they track key outcomes and share their progress with others.

This can be accomplished by making the results public, or just by privately reporting them to another person. Both seem to work equally well.

4. Keep a record

People who physically or digitally record their progress (rather than just measure it) are much more likely to actually achieve their goals.

This performance management tip is that simple.

5. Make useful comparisons

There are a number of things you could do with the key outcomes you’re tracking.

It can be useful to compare them with an overall average, a result that others frequently obtain, or how the best top performers are doing. But these comparisons don’t actually lead to the best outcomes.

People are several times more likely to achieve their goals when they focus on comparing themselves, with themselves.

How do their current results compare to their previous results? Are they worse? The same? Actually improving? How close or far are they from achieving their goals?

This is the basic blueprint

The most effective performance management processes:

  • Track progress often
  • Focus on the most desired outcomes
  • Share the results with others
  • Keep an actual ongoing record
  • Regularly compare results to past outcomes and ideal goals

Start using these performance management tips today to reach your goals.