· 1 min read · Features

HR's essential role in staving off the triple dip


Through discussions with colleagues and customers, it seems that too many businesses have been so focused on managing process and cost cutting that their managers have become disconnected from their people. This is exacerbated by the fact that fewer people are doing more and managers are having to deal with information. It is a recipe for stress but, even more worrying, it makes the act of effective performance management fall to the bottom of the pile.

Managing human beings effectively is not an exact science, yet doing this well is what great people managers do naturally. However, even great managers are struggling to spend quality time setting objectives, holding regular one to one's, giving feedback and generally communicating with their people.

Too many businesses see managing performance as a luxury and dismiss it as an HR process when it could be the key to accelerated profitability, to say nothing of motivation and retention of key staff.

There have never been more excuses for managers to avoid engaging in human contact in the workplace. This can result in managers prioritising tasks over people and starting to see one to one's or appraisals as a chore that stops them doing their 'day job'. I believe that for businesses to achieve sustainable growth, performance management must be seen as business as usual for people managers.

Top 10 tips for driving a high performance culture through your people:

10. Keep a balance in emphasis between financials, process & compliance and human interactions. Consider use of the balanced scorecard for this.

9. Consider benchmarking current engagement levels and targeting line managers to put in place actions to improve them.

8. Ensure senior managers are visible, seen as consistent and communicate regularly both formally and informally with staff.

7. Embed appraisal as a regular & meaningful strategic activity.

6. Encourage a learning culture using on the job learning, information and collaboration for people to learn and grow from each other.

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Lucinda Carney (pictured) is a business psychologist and founder of Advance Change and Actus performance management software.