The great thing about businesses, organizations and agencies are the people making it what it is. Without it, these businesses, organizations and agencies amount to great ideas with unfulfilled potential. This seems obvious, however it’s a basic concept that’s often forgotten in the process of actually running a business, managing employees and staying open from year to year.

Over the years, organizations in Ethiopia, have been engaged in a low-key warfare for acquiring and keeping talent. Especially in the current climate where talent is in high demand. Many strategies have been developed, a lot of employee engagement tools have been employed but the giant that keeps everything running in the employer-employee relations and businesses is performance management.

This simple mechanism, usually employed mid-year/end-year, allows for employers to constantly monitor employee activities so that it meets the set standards of an organization effectively and efficiently. It sounds simple but manager often forget that at the end of the day you’re dealing with people. People with feelings, families and with lives outside of work.  This might sound easy if said employee is a great one. However, the challenge here is to also constantly remind yourself that even employees are performing below the set standard the same courtesy applies.

That’s the tricky side of performance management. The fact great employees or not so great ones are at the end of the day people. So, to help you with a few pointers that will help you find footing in the people side of performance management, here a few tips.


  • Building trust

It’s a process, it’s not easy but at the end of the day you’re going to have to trust your team to perform their assigned tasks. However, showing that you trust the team you’re managing is often a big determiner of productivity and success. It doesn’t happen overnight but the key here is to lead by example and being more than just that manager that’s telling them what to do.

  • Listening

The major issue with most companies in terms of performance and job satisfaction is that sometimes, employees don’t feel like they’re listened to.  Having continuous meetings over the year and creating a sense of confidence that you are actually listening. This start from asking people how their day was to simply having a five minute meeting with your team to do a simple check. Moreover, you can take this one step further by paying attention to their interests and center a few tasks around these interests.

  • Not Personal

Sometimes, in the process of evaluating an employee’s performance or specific work managers forget that the work people do and the people can be separated. For instance, instead of saying things like “you’ve done a horrible job on this proposal!” isn’t better to say “I read your proposal and there is a lack of quality, is there anything you misunderstood? If so for the future my door is always open if you need pointers. Also, please proofread before you submit your proposal.” One answer gives the employee a feeling of blame and that’s it. The latter is specific, shows that you care about the work and the employee and more importantly holds accountable.

Performance management, in the long run, becomes less of a dreaded chore when you constantly remind yourself that you’re dealing with people. At the end of the day, that’s who matters the most.

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