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How to Implement a High-Performance Management System

High-performing teams don’t just come into being on their own. They require managers to take a focused approach to goal setting and employee development that goes above and beyond traditional performance management.

You can implement a high-performing culture and ensure your employees are always doing their best work with regular check-ins, one-on-one mentoring, and clear team goals. Here’s how to use a high-performance management approach to improve employee performance and achieve organizational success.

What Is High-Performance Management?

Traditional performance management takes a top-down, managerial approach to team performance. Managers assign tasks to individual team members, provide feedback, and conduct performance reviews. When there are performance issues, they use a performance improvement plan to get things back on track.

High-performance management is more of a collaborative process. Team members are given greater insight into company goals and are offered more professional development opportunities. Employees are encouraged to reach their full potential, rather than just to complete tasks in a satisfactory manner.

Managers can incorporate some of the regular performance management tactics, like conducting performance reviews. However, these reviews may be conducted periodically throughout the year, fostering a culture of continuous feedback.

Benefits of High-Performance Management

Implementing a high-performance management process can benefit businesses and their employees alike. For organizations, effective performance management can improve operational efficiency, while for employees, it increases job satisfaction and provides greater opportunities for career growth.

Here are three ways high-performance management can help your business:

1. Increase Productivity

High-performing teams reach their goals faster and get more done. It’s not just about improving employee productivity — it’s also about increasing work efficiency, which means expending less time and resources to reach the same goals.

This is partly because high-performing organizations allow their employees to exercise more autonomy. When employees are kept in the loop about overall business goals, they can make better decisions about where to focus their energy.

2. Boost Morale and Employee Engagement

A high-performance management strategy can reduce turnover and improve employee retention. According to a Gallup report, a culture of ongoing feedback and continuous learning opportunities leads to increased employee engagement.

Employees have confidence that the management team will take their ideas seriously and work with them to achieve their own performance goals.

3. Eliminate Skills Gaps

An effective performance management approach fosters employee growth by providing extensive mentoring and professional development opportunities. Not only does better training improve employees’ own career prospects, it reduces skills gaps within your organization and allows you to promote team members internally.

You can use automation throughout the employee onboarding process and beyond to deliver training modules and administer skills assessements.

Adopt These 5 Key Features of High-Performance Management

High performance management: employee using a computer

High-performance management requires buy-in at all levels of your organization, from your HR department to individual managers and team members. You’ll need the right approach, as well as the right software, to reach your business performance goals.

Here are five ways to roll out high-performance management practices and level up employee performance at your organization:

1. Foster Transparent Communication

Communication is a must-have skill in any workplace, but it’s especially important for managers in a high-performance setting. Managers need to be able to communicate goals clearly, deliver constructive feedback, and facilitate conflict resolution.

At the organizational level, businesses can take steps to upgrade their communications platforms to ensure that team members can collaborate efficiently and have access to the data they need at all times. Cloud-based platforms like Pulpstream make it easy to eliminate data silos and facilitate teamwork by providing real-time access to information via desktop and mobile devices.

Prioritizing good communication and employee relations will give your team members the confidence to share their ideas and contribute to better decision-making.

2. Give Regular Feedback

Traditional performance management relies on annual performance reviews that may come too late for team members to act on the feedback. By switching to a continuous feedback process, you’ll be able to provide actionable feedback in the moment and take the sting out of criticism that arrives out of context.

By standardizing your performance review templates and delivering them on a regular basis, you’ll increase their effectiveness and reduce the risk of favoritism or bias. Plus, you can incorporate a wider range of feedback, from self-evaluations to peer reviews, and even 360-degree feedback.

Rather than take disciplinary action at the first sign of poor performance, you can give employees the opportunity to course-correct and improve their metrics over time.

3. Encourage Self-Management

High-performing teams are given more discretion to make their own decisions and take the initiative when the opportunity calls for it. Start by clearly communicating company goals and values so employees know where they fit into the picture.

This doesn’t mean that team members can overrule managerial decisions, but you can give them greater leeway to make recommendations or advance pet projects.

Create a professional development plan for each employee so you can identify where their career goals and your business goals overlap. This will demonstrate that you have their long-term interests in mind, and will allow your human resources team to better support them in learning new skills and achieving career milestones.

4. Set Strategic Goals

Goal setting is a big part of high-performance management. Setting clear goals gives your team a sense of purpose and allows them to direct their efforts toward a shared objective or milestone. Consider setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, which are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Use key performance indicators (KPIs) or other metrics to track your progress, but be prepared for your goals to change over time. High-performing teams are constantly revisiting their goals to ensure they align with team and company objectives.

When team members fall behind on their KPIs, increase the frequency of one-on-one check-ins, and offer additional training or mentoring to help them catch up. Highlight positive outcomes with a robust employee recognition program that rewards team members for good performance.

5. Use Process Automation

High-performing teams don’t do everything by hand. They use technology to automate repetitive and recurring tasks like form-filling and data entry. From HR teams to sales departments, there are dozens of practical low-code automation use cases.

Process automation can save you time and money by streamlining entire workflows and freeing up employees to focus on more strategic tasks. You can automate performance reviews, streamline absence management, and standardize the employee disciplinary process to ensure that everyone on your team is treated fairly.

Plus, when you digitize processes, you end up with more data you can use to monitor performance, shape your business goals, and achieve your long-term objectives.

Achieve High-Performance Management With Pulpstream

Manager happily using a laptop

High-performance management is a step up from traditional performance management, empowering your team members with better resources and more autonomy to work toward business objectives. To implement high-performance management, your managers will need to be skilled in interpersonal relationships, deliver constructive feedback, and help individual employees achieve their professional development goals.

Pulpstream makes it easy to level up your performance with our no-code, cloud-based automation platform. You can use it to digitize and automate workflows at all levels of your organization, from your HR department to your workplace safety team.

With its intuitive drag-and-drop interface, Pulpstream has a low barrier to entry, and is suitable even for nontechnical team members who don’t know how to code.

Request a demo today, and see how Pulpstream can improve workplace efficiency!