An effective performance management system assesses employees fairly based on performance, behaviours and contributions; regardless of their age, gender, race, religion, marital status or disability. This system includes setting goals, measuring progress, giving feedback and coaching employees on how to improve their job performance.
Continual change brought about by the dynamic business landscape has prompted organisations to move away from the traditional yearly or half-yearly reviews to providing employees with ‘real-time’ feedback, so that employees get the feedback and recognition regularly, enabling them to improve and enhance their skills immediately.
As your company becomes more diverse with Singapore’s multi-generation workforce, employers should also note that the nature of work and flexible work arrangements offered to staff can influence the way employees are assessed. Your performance management system should take into account these practices, so that you can continue to manage and grade the performances of your employees fairly.
Benefits of a good performance management system
A good performance management system works towards the improvement of the overall organisational performance. As active contributors to the organisation, mature employees should be fairly and objectively assessed. Here are some benefits of having a good performance management system in place for older staff:
Performance management encourages regular, ongoing dialogue between employers and managers about expectations, progress, accomplishments, performance and development needs.
Recognising the good work of employees and providing them feedback on areas of improvement helps them continually improve and hone their skills. This way, employees also get to take responsibility for their own performance, development and career progression while contributing to the organisation’s success.
With a regular performance management system, employees are clear about what is expected of them. They also know how their work contributes to the achievement of organisational goals.
Regular performance management sessions give you an opportunity to gather, review and document the results of ongoing dialogue with your employees about expectations, performance and development.
As your employees improve, your company also becomes more productive, efficient and cost-effective.
Tips on performance management for older workers
Talking about retirement and performance issues can be tricky, but performance appraisal meetings give employers a good opportunity to start conversations on these topics.
Singling out the older workers can be seen as discriminating against them because of their age.
This gives older workers an opportunity to start a conversation about planning for their retirement, if it is on their minds. This question also gives employees of all ages a good chance to ask for opportunities to grow, or for help they think they need.
Use this opportunity to open up discussions about ongoing work options, retirement options, further skills development and if retirement is raised, the plan the transfer of knowledge, skills and experience to their colleagues. Do not assume they want to retire just because of their age.
You should manage the performance of your older workers the same way you manage any employee group. However, there is a greater need to be more sensitive and supportive when talking about performance issues with older staff, especially if their decline in performance is due to age-related mental, physical or psychological issues.