August 20, 2019
Performance Management 30 May 2019
Continuous Performance: Role of a Department Head
Britta Howlett
Photo by Lukas from Pexels

The key to any successful continuous performance program is to have frequent manager-employee check-in meetings. The goal of these meetings is to have the opportunity to discuss performance and continually getting feedback.  

For check-in meetings to be effective, it is essential that both the manager and employee are prepared to discuss the employee’s goals and detailed feedback about the employee’s performance. Each party should be prepared for goal setting, coaching/training, and feedback. It’s important to have this performance check with your employees often because not only will your employees improve their skills but your company will be more successful. But with so many different leaders and managers in your organization, who is in charge of making sure Continuous Performance takes place and what are their responsibilities?

Role of Department Head in Continuous Performance

The department head plays a lead in the entire process of continuous performance by acting as role models for all the employees. Their responsibility is to design policies that will ensure successful management and act upon the core values relating to performance. 

Department head plays a vital role in convincing team leaders that continuous performance is crucial in making a successful business and helping employees improve. The department head is expected to develop a high-performance culture in an organization by doing the following:

  • Communicating the company’s mission to its customers and employees.
  • Being specific and clear with work expectations.
  • Communicating with everyone the company’s goals
  • Facilitating overall performance improvement. 
  • Keeping employees informed of all progress. 

As managers monitor performance, they can give a constructive evaluation as well as advice on problem-solving if needed. Instruct employees on ways they can improve and make them aware of all the resources available from the company.

Role of Team Leaders in Performance Management

Team leaders play a very crucial role in implementing and enacting the department heads policies. Therefore, it’s important that the team leaders have the same goals in mind as the department head. 

Some team leaders lack the required skills for reviewing the performance of the employees, providing feedback and identifying objectives along with them. But these limitations can be overcome by practicing these few tips: 

  • Department head provides sufficient training and leadership. 
  • Maintaining simplicity in the overall process of performance management.
  • Setting specific goals and set up expectations with all team leaders.
  • Involving the team leaders in decisions of the continuous performance process. 

Help Employees with Setting Goals

Continuous Performance is not just a one-time performance review, it is a system that allows you to continuously get feedback and constantly improve.  Although the department head should be responsible for all employees performance improvement, team leaders can play a big role in setting goals during a continuous performance. By delegating this responsibility to team leaders, department heads are able to focus on other parts of the business to help the company succeed.

Team leaders can help employees to set goals. When setting goals, make sure that the goals are quantifiable. Talk about how the employee is going to achieve the goal and make a plan. Let them know your expectations and be sure that those expectations line up with the department head’s expectations. 

You also want to set your employees up to succeed, so tell them how you are going to evaluate them.  You want them to hit their goals, so make sure you follow up and keep an open line of communication.  This accountability increases the likelihood that employees will achieve their goals.

When setting up goals make sure to:

  • Align the goals with the company’s mission.
  • Plan out clear and specific goals.
  • Make sure the goals are measurable.
  • Make sure the goals are challenging but attainable.
  • Have a framed time for when the goals should be completed
  • Revisit the goals on a regular basis. 

Goals should give your team something to reach for. They should benefit the company and the employee.

Role of Employees in Continuous Performance

The employees have a vital role to play in the performance management cycle as the entire process revolves around them. They discuss their roles and the competencies required and define objectives in conjunction with their superiors. When pathways are created by team leaders and department heads, it’s important for the employees to give their feedback. Because these continuous performance reviews will benefit the employees, employees should share what they value and what skills they want to learn. Knowing this can help managers create a pathway that will not only be meaningful for the company but that will be meaningful for the employee. 

If you're an employee reading this article, you can help with the continuous performance system by:

  • Talk at least quarterly with your manager about your progress and goals.
  • Seek out opportunities to learn new skills on your own.
  • Find a colleague willing to mentor you and give you feedback.

How ProSky can help

Our ProSky software not only lets you create a personalized pathway for each individual employee but it has features that managers can choose from to give feedback to teams and employees. Managers can see what the employees are working on and follow up on the goals that they set. Using our software allows you to have a successful Continuous Performance for your employees. 

Learn more about how ProSky can help with Continuous Performance and establishing Succession pathways for your employees! Check out more articles on ProSky's Talking Talent Blog.