At Red Clover, we believe that performance management is more than a form you fill out once a year, discuss with your manager and file away until the following year. Performance Management should be the consistent process by which every employee in an organization receives regular performance feedback to help them improve and excel in their position, establish and meet performance goals and understand how they contribute to the overall success of the business. Effective performance development isn’t a once a year event, but rather an ongoing process meant to get the best out of your organization’s people.
Red Clover’s approach to effective performance management is multi-layered. We start with the belief that an organization’s ability to support effective performance management relies on its leaders’ ability to have effective performance development conversations. It is about the manager’s ability to acknowledge when their people are performing well, provide guidance when they aren’t, and set them up for continual success by regularly engaging with them about their contributions to business goals. The goal is to provide managers the tools to be confident in providing regular feedback to their teams.
With our progressive approach to performance development, we help companies create a process that focuses on employee’s achievement of goals and KPIs while giving equal weight to how they demonstrate the company’s core values. This multifaceted approach to an employee’s performance allows you and your managers to have in-depth, detailed performance management conversations that transcend a performance appraisal template (although we do have forms we like to use.) This approach looks at the employee as a whole person and takes their entire performance into consideration. This allows for a more robust goal-setting session and clearly outlines how an employee contributes to their own future and the future of the organization. The manager is positioned to help the employee develop the strategy to accomplish the goals they’ve developed together.
Red Clover provides guidance to organizations and their managers in understanding how to provide performance feedback on a consistent basis, through the course of their work; not just once a year. In order to facilitate these productive conversations on a regular basis, we may have teams complete a DISC assessment and engage with one of our team members in a DISC debrief. The debrief allows the manager and their direct reports to understand their behavioral styles and communication preferences, thus leading to more effective conversation and message delivery.
To create an environment where frequent feedback is encouraged, we provide your teams and individuals with meeting rhythms. Having a consistent meeting rhythm provides the space for individuals who work together to openly communicate. If a manager has committed time with their employees, it presents a greater opportunity for more regular one-on-one feedback. That way, the formal performance appraisal takes on more meaning and serves as a summary document of all the productive conversations that have gone before it, rather than a once a year process without any perceived value.
Although our approach to performance management is specific to each client based on their unique people needs, we establish some general processes to support a sustainable performance review process. Generally speaking, we recommend holding formal performance development discussions quarterly or at least bi-annually. The ultimate purpose of the performance development conversation is supporting the employee’s professional growth and goal-setting. You do this by having the employee complete a self-assessment first, where they provide their thoughts about how they’ve embodied the company core values and provide specific examples of their performance accomplishments and where they need to improve. The self evaluation then serves as the starting point for a more robust discussion with their manager. The manager provides their own notes and insight and works with the employee to develop SMART goals based on the performance appraisal. The appraisal can also be revisited from time to time during the regularly scheduled meetings between the supervisor and supervisee to check on goal progress and identify areas where the employee may still need improvement. We also recommend separating the performance review process from annual compensation review. Performance development is about goal setting and annual raises are based on contributions to the business. The goals are different, so these processes should be treated as distinct and separate.