For long, human resources (HR) has been considered as a function that does typical routine tasks for employees. From putting out job openings to conducting interviews and paying out salaries, HR is perceived as largely being an administrative role.
In recent times, the role of HR leaders has taken on a strategic dimension. This comes from recognizing that people are the most important resource an organization has, and properly managing them and aligning talent management strategies with organizational objectives is a great way to determine the future strategies to be followed.
A significant part of HR responsibilities is performance management. HR must facilitate the performance of excellent work by the employees where the latter use the best of their abilities. Managing this performance effectively requires good leadership, building strong interpersonal relationships, offering constructive feedback, and working together as a team.
The following are some useful steps to get teams to work more effectively and perform better:
Evaluate the present status
Make a quick assessment of the most important target areas, and consult the team for this assessment. This is important to get the team on board with the initiative, as well as to prove the company is invested in their engagement and wellbeing. Some important points to consider are the following:
- The level of psychological safety in the team
- The thoughts of the team on its performance
- The alignment of the performance with the purposes of the team and the company
Involve managers in a discussion on the essentials of great leadership
The top management of a company is undoubtedly the catalyst for improving the performance of its employees. It is equally true, though, that the top management cannot lead and improve each team individually. This is why it becomes important to educate and empower managers across levels to lead their teams well.
A useful tool in this scenario is a leadership development program, and this holds true for small businesses as much as for large organizations. A leadership development program recognizes the criticality and difficulty of the shift to managerial responsibilities, and the fact that new skills and time demands come into the picture.
To improve the leadership capabilities, the organization can choose to skill its managers with talent management programs. One of the good set of programs offered is by the Talent Management Institute (TMI), whose initiatives, standards frameworks and body of knowledge spell the state of the art in talent management today. Managers who are new to the role or have a few years of experience could opt for:
- Talent Management Practitioner (TMP™): For those at the start
- Senior Talent Management Practitioner (STMP™): For mid-career HR professionals
- Global Talent Management Leader (GTML™): For senior HR professionals
Even senior management needs to upgrade its skills to improve its leadership capabilities. For these levels, TMI offers the following programs in collaboration with the Wharton Institute (collectively known as the TMI-Wharton programs):
- Associate Fellow Program in Talent Management:For emerging global HR leaders
- Global Fellow Program in Talent Management: For the most accomplished professionals in HR
Work out practical steps for managers
Managers must be equipped with the right skills and knowledge to take their leadership capabilities to higher levels. Setting goals, creating guidelines, and building trust are important responsibilities, and leaders need to be guided on the proactive steps to be taken to these ends. This can help to save time and build improvement into every action taken by the team.
Make feedback a regular process
One-on-one meetings are important, even though with large teams this would mean significant investments of time. HR leaders must work with managers to ensure feedback happens regularly, as this helps to deal with issues within a suitable timeframe and speed up the requisite improvements. And a meeting is a two-way process, where both parties stand to gain, which is why both should add to the agenda and work to make it more productive. Useful tools here are timely reminders, suggested questions, and shared notes.
Translate top-level goals to all levels
Goal-setting comes from top management as well as at individual team levels. Good talent management programs teach the importance of working with the team to align targets to organizational goals. This also gives the team the understanding of how daily tasks contribute to achieving these goals. It creates trust in team members and encourages them to be innovative.
Work with a clear purpose
A sorted vision is essential to prioritize tasks and work together with the motivation to achieve targets. This helps the team to identify with the organization more closely, thereby improving performance on the job as well as engagement and satisfaction with the work done. HR leaders must ingrain the importance of managers working with the team to collectively set a purpose, as that gives the work more meaning.