How to turbo charge employee performance in a Social Enterprise

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It’s not about the money, according to this McKinsey Quarterly article on “Motivating People: Getting beyond money”.

Research shows that employees consider praise from their manager as an equally (if not more) effective motivator as a cash bonus. Done publicly, recognition also has the benefit of inspiring imitation: when other employees see it, they frequently follow suit.

While large organizations are moving well beyond Social Media into Social Business allowing for highly effective team collaboration, communication and insight sharing, managing employee performance and providing feedback is still downplayed by most managers and HR leaders in the enterprise today. This  makes for a lethargic and low-performing culture.

Given the above mentioned state, it stands to reason why highly-talented employees are opting for vibrant, results-driven companies that can value their contribution, keep them enthused, and allow them to reach their full potential. Most managers dislike giving feedback and don’t believe it to be as effective a tool. Employees, on the other hand, like to be provided with realtime feedback and coaching from their supervisors as well as co-workers.

So then, how do you counter this disconnect?

Organizations like Facebook, Mozilla, and Rackspace are consistently striving to be the most-satisfying places to work at. By employing effective managers who passionately believe in continuous feedback, recognition and goal-setting, these companies are building a more collaborative and flexible culture to retain the best talent and keep them happy. Why wait a whole year to tell your employees that they have done a great job, or that they need improvement in an area, or where they should focus their efforts? Its obvious that the entire process of managing employee performance and providing feedback has been in need of a major overhaul for some time now. Managers and HR leaders need to adopt more modern ways of providing employees with more focused, real-time developmental feedback; improve communication and create more transparency so everyone knows the right goals to focus on. And also, celebrate success more frequently and not wait months until review time to show appreciation; give employees a way to take control of their own performance and career development; and finally, create processes that are not rigid, complex or time consuming while making it easy for managers to engage with and mentor their employees.

Let the Social Business technologies kick into effect!

In order to take people to the next level and to encourage optimum efficiency, organizations need to adopt Social Business technologies that are built from ground up with “human-interaction” and “company culture” at the core; are simple, intuitive, and fun to use on a regular basis; and which make the process of managing employee performance and providing feedback more social, more natural, and more relevant to business leaders, HR professionals, managers, and individual employees.

The first step is to identify the challenges you have been facing, and how you have been addressing them so far.

The next step is to define what you would like to achieve and within what time-frame.

Once you have this information, it is best to approach a specialist digital agency with a proven track record of building a Social Enterprise, an understanding of why social interactions between people are essential in getting the best out of them, and an awareness of how modern performance-management strategies can be seamlessly integrated with existing talent infrastructure at the enterprise, as opposed to a recruitment agency who are likely to suggest a disconnected approach involving legacy (talent management) software that reflect a more traditional mindset and do not address the problems of a dynamic, high performing workplace.

Finally, focus on being or hiring a good manager for your team(s). Stress on business critical outcomes based on clear goals, and guilt-free communication between coworkers based on your company culture. And, don’t forget to spend time in mentoring your employees during each feedback cycle, and stay assured that your star talent will not walk out the door.

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Rohan is responsible for setting the overall direction and service strategy for BUZZVALVE: a specialist social-media agency with a presence in Bangalore & Palo Alto. As CEO, Rohan has led the company to profitability in less than one year and has built a client list that includes several Fortune-500 corporations and top-tier advertising agencies across 10+ countries, with spot mentions in The Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Forbes, Social Media Examiner, and The Times of India among others. He can be reached via. Twitter - @rohancs , Linkedin - rohancs
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