Performance Management Today

Performance Management TodayToday, Performance Management (PM) is a tool that helps managers frequently, monitor and evaluate employees’ work. The goal of performance management is to create an environment where people can perform to the best of their abilities and in alignment with the organization’s overall goals. With today’s itinerant workforce, getting everyone on the same (corporate) page is essential to success. 

Out With The Old 

Most Performance Management programs use an ineffective, appraisal process to track employee performance. A job performance appraisal is a periodic skill assessment, as compared to company standards. Having managers and supervisors merit workforce performance is time consuming and does very little to drive constructive conversations. Infrequent performance appraisals do little to promote employee interaction or company loyalty. For this reason, the time has come for managers to step up and really get involved in promoting individual, group and corporate goals.

In With The New 

It is time for managers and supervisors to step up and get involved, taking a Proactive Performance Management approach, to include personal relationships. An article by Professor, Peter Cappelli, of the Wharton Business School, said a third of US companies have found a more effective way of reinforcing desired employee behaviors and managing performance. He states, employers are abandoning the traditional appraisal process to more frequent, informal check-ins between managers and the workforce. Promoting teamwork, through regular conversations, will promote the company’s goals as well as individual goals. Weekly meetings should reinforce and explain each employee’s value and importance in achieving the end goal; the success of the company.

Fresh PM Ideas

Additional Performance Management processes can build a strong team. Small group merit rewards throughout the year, will promote an environment of team and community. Conversely, poor performers are helped through continuous monitoring and more frequent coaching, leading to less turnover. Additionally, a Feedback Box will aid in business and process development through positive or negative feedback. General Electric has even introduced a feedback app, PD@GE, for supervisors which also permits employees questions.

Proactive Performance Management

Moving away from stressful and possibly degrading Performance Management tasks to a regular, day-to-day Proactive PM system will promote a goal-first mentality. HR Associates attended a Performance Management Workshop at BGSU, in which keynote speaker, Dr. Elaine Pulakos gave some insight as to how to institute PM change. In 2010, Dr. Pulakos, working for the Corporate Leadership Council /Gartner, developed a five step path for Performance Management reform for Cargill, which included behavioral change to the workforce.

  1. Plan Change to the current system, as well as, discussing new strategies for going forward. You need to understand where you are before you can change.
  2. Streamline the current system. Too many internal regulations and policies can be cumbersome to execute. Throw out mandatory reviews and rating programs.
  3. Motivate Change through daily performance interactions and the four critical PM behaviors – Inspire, Adapt, Align, & Grow. As mentioned previously, linking an employee’s work to the mission & success of the company will inspire & promote self esteem. Adapting short term goals will put them within reach and in the forefront year round. Frequent informal feedback and praise will foster behavioral changes and all employees will exhibit growth by being a vital part of the daily conversation.
  4. Embed Change through continuous exposure to experiences which will lead to a better understanding of key principles. In turn, awareness leads to a higher application of good practices and a 30% performance improvement by the workforce.
  5. Evaluate and monitor PM change so you are able to continue to adjust and grow with your workforce.

In conclusion, today’s connected & savvy workforce has the world at their fingertips and with this competitive pressure, companies are forced  to step up their talent management efforts.  It is time to scale up your Performance Management process and really engage your team. Moreover, if you don’t train and develop your employees, they will find a company that will.


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