We know, performance management is one of the last priorities when it comes to today’s HR leader. It’s the item on the list we’ll perennially “get to.” Yet, so much of today’s workforce needs continuous feedback from managers.

Besides…annual reviews have been on the way out for years and between another software integration, ensuring managers do their job by providing necessary feedback while mixing the 20 other demands of the role is overwhelming (and that’s a subtle adjective).

We feel you.

Performance management should be easy. HR should be like the valiant whitewater rafting guide who is able to pull any overzealous rafter out from the wild rapids. The steady stream of paperwork and demands in the workforce are no different for middle managers as they are for rafters navigating rapids. 

How do you give your managers a hand in performance management and guide your rafters to a safe, enjoyable year of management?

**note: do not read further unless performance management is somewhat of a priority. Don’t know if it is? Here are 4 ways to prove if performance management is a priority.**

Below are 2 simple acts you can start today to stimulate performance management and ensure everyone has a smooth and enjoyable ride.

1. Mandate a Best Practice 

Do you see that picture above? There is a reason every rafter is wearing a life jacket. White water rafting guides mandate everyone wear a life jacket. There is no rafting without a life jacket.

One example of a mandated HR best practice: “If you’re going to be a manager for x company, you’re going to talk about performance at least quarterly” This is a fair mandate. Quarterly performance reviews should be mandated. I know you and your CEO trust every manager is holding weekly 1 on 1 meetings and have regular conversations about performance, but verifying the process is your job.

If you do not have an opinion about performance management you are letting your role define you and not defining your role. You may not have all bases covered in performance management, but mandating one best practice proves you have something covered. 

The secret to success here: whatever you decide is mandated by the organization, it must be simple and easy to implement and use. The days of enforcing clunky, crappy, scrappy, buggy, and ugly software (I feel like I’m ordering hashbrowns at the Waffle House!) are over. If it is not intuitive, mobile, and proven, do not risk your reputation on implementation.

2. Get a Simple Win with Data

Get data quickly. For example: How likely are your employees to recommend your company to their friends? This is low hanging fruit to get significant data with minimal amount of work. Send out an NPS employee survey today. Use Google Forms or Survey Monkey — they have great template here.  If you do not want to send it out to the entire company, send it out to one division. Either way, you are adding value by getting important data on the company.

Knowing this data gives you insight to the organization your CEO cares about. Understanding the company’s employee NPS is the tip of the iceberg. Here are 5 other questions you can ask to earn respect for the HR department — they are all around data.

The secret to success here: leverage the relationships you have built with managers in your company to get approval for the division or entire company. The scope could require 30 minutes of work or a half day depending on the size of your organization or division. If you do not have strong relationships with the managers in your company, go back to bullet point #2 on our list of 5 Specific Actions HR Must Do Today To Win Tomorrow.

These are two simple acts you can implement quickly. The list is a much longer for the more expert People Ops professional.

Performance management can seem daunting, but starting small with a disciplined approach is the key to success.

About WideAngle: WideAngle helps transform HR folks into Powerful People Ops