We’re in the final months of 2016, and while it’s been a memorable year, for many organisations this is not the time to reflect on the past. Now is the time when businesses look ahead to the new year and start to plan and set priorities.
The year’s end provides a great time to hit the reset button. Part of this planning will always involve at least some looking backward, but only in service of adjusting and course-correcting. Maybe there was a new strategy implemented in the past year that needs some fine-tuning, or a highly successful effort that needs to be pushed even further forward. But the focus here is on the future. The start of a fresh calendar year is the time to jump-start new strategies and get big ideas off the ground. That’s what makes the planning process exciting!
If you want great results in your business, start with your people. After all, they’re your greatest asset.
The key to a successful performance management program is to align the talent strategy and business strategy of the organisation. People then understand the goals of the business and how their work contributes to achieving those goals. This alignment increases productivity and engagement.
It’s easy to articulate the concept, but it’s not always easy to figure out where to begin. Here are five essential areas that can have a positive impact on business outcomes:
- Develop great managers – Great managers know how to motivate, hold staff accountable and develop trusting relationships. They find ways to overcome barriers to success and make big-picture decisions;
- Set goals that drive outcomes – Help employees see how they contribute to the organisation’s success so they understand how their individual contribution and goals align to the organisation’s goals;
- Build a culture of feedback and recognition – When employees are comfortable giving and receiving feedback, they develop awareness about behaviours that help or hinder their development;
- Encourage forward-focused growth and development – Learning and development opportunities are top drivers of employee satisfaction, making learning and development programs a business-critical priority; and
- Have regular performance discussions – Encourage managers to build trusting relationships with consistent communication and ongoing discussions about performance.
What are your priorities for 2017?
When building a people strategy for 2017, there are a few different things you might want to focus on. You might want to create a culture of ongoing feedback and recognition. You might want to focus on ensuring that employee goals are directly tied to organisational strategies. Learning and development, talent mobility and ongoing performance management; these are all great things to focus on.
Regardless of your 2017 focus, we recommend taking three steps in order to turn your people strategy into a reality.
- Plan your strategy – In the planning stage, you’ll select your focus for 2017, and then figure out a way to make it happen. This first stage, arguably the most important one, sets the foundation for your 2017 people strategy.
- Prepare to implement your strategy – Make changes to get the business results you want.
- Ensure you have to tools to succeed – make sure you’re well-equipped to succeed. You wouldn’t build a shelf without a hammer, a drill, a saw; for that same reason you shouldn’t try to build a performance management plan without the appropriate tools.
So don’t delay. Seize the opportunity to hit the reset button and craft your 2017 performance management plans. With the right timing, your organisation will be able to plan, prepare, and execute on a best-in-class talent management strategy for the New Year.