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Essential Features to Consider in a Performance Management System

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Are you on track to achieve your restaurant's goals? Do you have a system in place to help you and your employees achieve these goals? If you answered “no,” a solid performance management system can make your job much, much easier.

What is a Performance Management System?

A performance management system is defined as “a proactive system for managing employee performance that guides individuals and organizations toward desired performance and outcomes.”

Yowza. That sounds complicated, doesn't it? But that's not it at all.

Simply put, it is a system for managing the performance of a company and its employees. This sounds a lot easier, and you're probably already doing some of the steps without knowing it.

But when we talk to entrepreneurs about “performance management,” they are hesitant to jump on the bandwagon. They imagine sitting at a desk for hours, tracking metrics and writing performance reviews for their employees. While these are certainly pieces of the puzzle, a well-functioning PM system doesn't mean you have more work to do.

In fact, it should actually mean less work because everyone involved is pulling in the same direction. Plus, the benefits for everyone involved are too great to pass up.

Performance management goals

The goal of a PM system is simple: to ensure that everyone - management, employees and the company as a whole - works together to achieve overall operational and corporate performance goals.

We want your restaurant, your employees, your operations, and your finances to complement each other - meaning the resulting synergy will actually drive you to achieve your goals!

But how on earth can you achieve this?

Steps to a solid performance management system

Well, there are six components you should focus on to create a system that works in your own home.

1.Understanding expectations.

I'm sure we can all agree that communication and clear expectations are important. And that is the first step towards introducing a functioning PM system.

When instructing your employees, be sure to clearly state your expectations and make sure they understand the message. Also look for consistent, positive and constructive feedback.

2.Performance reviews.

Performance reviews measure how your employees respond to your instructions. If you've made your expectations clear AND employees are getting the message AND you've hired people who fit your culture, these reviews will be much easier than you're used to.

If you notice that reviews aren't going well, it may be an indication that your team doesn't understand their individual roles. You may need to reset expectations and provide more guidance on how best to contribute to the team.

3.Teach and coach.

This is where teaching and coaching come into play. Each of us loses our bearings from time to time. So if you support your employees, open the lines of communication and take time for them, it will pay off.

“Coaching is the universal language of change and learning.” -CNN

Five extra minutes of coaching may be enough, but the encouragement and support will last much longer for your employees.

4.Reward and recognition.

What are you doing now to make your team excited to come to work tomorrow? Are you developing a culture that is fun and motivates your employees?

Sometimes operators fall into the trap of thinking that rewards and recognition must be costly. But they don't have to.

When an employee achieves a predetermined goal - perhaps selling the "daily special" ten times during their shift - they should be rewarded. You could write them a quick note to thank them and recognize them at the weekly staff meeting. It's quick and easy and only takes a little time.

Extravagant rewards are not necessary. You will find that authentic appreciation is much more appreciated.

5.Improvement Plans/Check-Ins.

Check in with employees regularly to see how things are going. Ask if they:

  • Do they understand your expectations?
  • Do you have any suggestions about the rewards and recognition programs you have in place?
  • Do you have any other suggestions to help the restaurant achieve its goals?

This step can be sensitive and used with malicious intent. Unfortunately, we see that this tool is sometimes used to "document problems" so that it can be used to "kick someone out."

So make sure to stay positive and use this process for what it was intended for - the ongoing self-development of you and your employees.

6.Corrective measures.

Disciplining employees can be difficult to manage. With all the laws in place, operators sometimes feel like their hands are tied.

Using a corrective action form can help reduce these fears and document legal requirements.

And remember, corrective action should only be used as a “last resort.” By the time you get to this step, you have already exhausted all other methods, including mentoring, coaching, and development plans.

For more information on corrective actions, recognition programs, and employee performance reviews, see upcoming posts. If you have any questions about these topics, please don't hesitate to email us or leave them in the comments.

Performance Management System FAQs

Why is a performance management system important for my restaurant?
Performance management systems are critical to improving your restaurant's operational efficiency. They enable consistent tracking of employee performance and contribute to higher employee motivation and development, which can have a positive impact on your business.

How can a performance management system improve my restaurant's efficiency?

  • Implementing a performance management system makes it possible to identify areas for improvement, track goal achievement and make informed decisions. This leads to optimized use of resources, refined processes and an overall increase in operational efficiency.

How can a performance management system contribute to employee motivation?

  • These systems promote employee development through constant feedback and recognition, increasing employee motivation, engagement and accountability, which is key to improved performance.

What features should a performance management system have?

  • Choose systems that offer instant feedback and reporting, goal setting capabilities, progress monitoring, comprehensive performance reviews, and incentive mechanisms. Integration with existing tools, such as POS systems, is also an advantage.

How can a performance management system improve customer service in my restaurant?

  • By improving employee performance and streamlining operations, these systems contribute to better customer service. They also help identify and resolve issues affecting customer satisfaction.

Can a performance management system help with inventory management?

  • Although the focus is on employee performance, some performance management systems may also include or integrate inventory management features to help control costs and stay on budget.

How often should I review performance using a performance management system?

  • It is best to practice continuous performance management rather than limiting it to an annual event. Frequent reviews and feedback keep employees motivated and focused on their goals.

How can a performance management system contribute to team dynamics?

  • These systems promote team cohesion by highlighting both teamwork and individual achievements. They also help identify and resolve team-related problems or conflicts.

Can a performance management system help with my restaurant's compliance?

  • Not only do these systems focus on employee performance, but they can also help ensure compliance with health and safety standards by monitoring relevant employee behaviors and practices.

How can a performance management system help with workforce planning?

  • Certain systems can integrate workforce scheduling features that enable efficient shift management and ensure proper employee availability.

Can a performance management system help with staff training?

  • Yes, these systems can identify areas where additional training for employees is needed and track and evaluate the effectiveness of training initiatives.

How can a performance management system help with conflict resolution?

  • They help identify the causes of employee conflicts, provide a structured approach to resolving these issues, and monitor the success of resolution strategies.

Can a performance management system help control costs in my restaurant?

  • By improving operational efficiency and staff productivity, performance management systems can make an important contribution to cost control. Some systems may also include direct expense tracking and management capabilities.

How can a performance management system help improve my restaurant's profitability?

  • Improvements in workforce performance, operational efficiency and customer service achieved through these systems can lead to greater profitability. They also provide valuable data and insights for strategic decision making to further increase profit margins.

Investing in a performance management system tailored to your restaurant's needs is essential for achieving operational excellence and fostering a motivated team. With IceHrm, streamline your performance management processes and watch your restaurant thrive.

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