Performance Management

June 29, 2017

Is your performance management system up to snuff? HR Consultant Don McCreesh suggests asking yourself four questions to find out:

1. Do my people know what to do?
2. Do they know how their job supports organizational values and strategy?
3. Do they know how well they did?
4. Do I know how to support them in their roles?

These four questions get to the heart of what a good performance management system ought to do: provide clear direction (including instructions, expectations, and timelines), inform employees of how their role fits into the organizational “big picture”, provide timely, actionable feedback on performance, and help staff grow into increased responsibility and new roles.

Of course, managing in a nonprofit setting can come with unique challenges. Chief among these can be an apprehension to “be the boss” in an organization that prides itself on being caring and non-hierarchical. But performance evaluation isn’t discipline, and management isn’t bossiness.

Performance management excels when managers care for and treat employees with respect while offering them structure, autonomy, and opportunities for growth. An important part of this is knowing each employee as an individual and tailoring your approach accordingly. You can do that, in part, by establishing regular one-on-ones with each of your direct reports and monitoring their performance with a scorecard or some other method that allows you to align tasks and project with larger goals and track progress towards those goals. These tools can help you meet each team member where they are and offer them the support they need to excel. What’s more caring than that?

Want to learn more about effective, caring management? Invest in your organization and yourself by applying to CNE’s annual Management Academy! Submit your application by Monday, August 14th to learn from our management workshops, seminars, and coaching beginning this September.

© Center for Nonprofit Excellence 2017
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