The success of your business partners has a great impact on the success of your own business. And contrary to what you may think, their performance is well within your control. Learn what performance management can do and then apply the knowledge to your own business through these tricks for successful partner management.
The importance of successful performance management
There’s a reason performance management has become an integral part of business. It involves setting goals, gathering data and analyzing that data to improve future performance. And with that kind of effort, the potential for success is much greater than it is otherwise.
In fact, businesses with successful performance management systems routinely outperform their competitors. According to Betterworks, companies that have implemented changes in the way they provide performance feedback have a 24 percent higher success rate than those that stick to traditional models.
But of course, not every performance management system is either cost-effective or viable. A study conducted by Gartner shows us exactly how easy it can be to make the wrong moves. For example, the average time managers spend on work related to performance management is 210 hours a year.
So how do you develop a performance management system that will help you make the most out of your partnerships?
There are a few tricks you can employ to make sure your performance management system is the one that will bring you the best possible results.
Performance management can start even before you partner with another business. After all, one of the major elements of success, in any field of work, is being able to plan ahead. So instead of focusing on your existing partners, why not increase your chances of success by making sure you only choose the partners that are a great fit for your business?
How do you do that? You gather all the necessary information on the prospective partner and you ask yourself a few questions regarding your potential partnership. A business that would be a great fit for you will:
Share your business’ target audience
Be okay with your terms and processes
Boast a stable business model
Be technically equipped to deliver results
Share your business’ values
Maybe it’s not necessary for the potential partner to check all the boxes, but it’s a great thing to strive for. And the more boxes they check, the more successful your collaboration will be and the less work you’ll have managing their performance.
Offering incentives & training programs
When you think about performance management, the first thing that comes to mind are yearly reviews. The employee or the partner has already done the work and now it’s time for you to evaluate it. But you don’t need to limit yourself to a purely reactionary way of doing things when there are plenty of actions you can take as well.
Of course, here we’re talking about incentive programs. These make for an excellent way to steer your partners into the right direction even before they’ve done anything. Instead of waiting a year to tell them they should be achieving better results, incentivize them to excel right from the start.
But a quality incentive program will do you no good if your partners aren’t trained to meet your requirements. Luckily, there are partner training programs that allow you to onboard and train all your partners in a way that’s highly efficient and even lowers your operational costs. Using this type of software is yet another way to be proactive about your performance management.
Constantly checking the progress
To make the most out of your performance management system, you need to come to terms with the fact that conducting yearly reviews simply doesn’t work. It’s an outdated system that many Forbes 500 companies have stopped using.
What should you do instead? When developing your performance management system, you should aim for implementing continuous performance evaluation. The exact process will, of course, depend on your business. But to give a few examples, this could mean anything from evaluating performance whenever necessary or possible, to measure it at the end of every individual project or campaign.
Why does this make for a better approach? It’s in line with the latest advances in the way project management, in general, is done. We’re talking about the so-called agile methodology, which has proven itself a lot more efficient than traditional project management. It’s been argued that this is simply because this methodology is aimed at breaking processes up into shorter phases and getting feedback as soon as they’re complete. As a result, there are fewer deviations from the end goal.
Of course, checking the progress your partners are making can only result in true success if you keep them in the loop. So if you want your performance management system to work, you need to be able to explain it to your partners, and informing them about it should be part of your process.
To be able to explain your evaluation process, it needs to be structured. You need to know what events trigger evaluation, how the process is done and which members of your team are responsible for it. But what’s more important than anything, you need to be able to explain to your partners exactly what they need to do to pass the process with flying colors.
This is where the concept of SMART goals can prove extremely helpful. SMART goals is an acronym that stands for goals that are:
And if the expectations you set for your partners check all the above boxes, there will be no uncertainties as to what they need to do to achieve a successful collaboration with you.
Consistent feedback and rewards
If you want your partners to perform as you need them to, it’s important to keep them engaged. One aspect of this is providing regular and consistent feedback. The other aspect is to reward them whenever they do something right. After all, a partner that doesn’t feel like they’re out of the loop and one that feels appreciated will almost surely become a valuable asset to your company.
There’s a lot of good that a quality performance management can do for your business. From choosing your partners wisely to keeping them constantly engaged, a smart, structured, and transparent system brings you closer to making the most out of your partnerships.
Want to know how Engagedly can help enhance your organization’s performance management? Fix a quick demo with our experts.
Lianna Arakelyan is a content writer at Kademi.co, with a knack for B2B programs, such as channel incentive programs, partner training and onboarding programs and not only. She is extreme in her work, with a deep goal of always being updated on online and offline marketing and technology news of the world.