“If I was to design a performance management approach for my company…”

We are again in this period of the year : the months of the yearly performance appraisal meetings. Who can honestly say that the classical performance management processes contributed in his company to a higher performance ??? Instead these processes often create frustrated employees, lots of administration, a false foundation for career and salary decisions,  internal competition rather than teamwork… Plenty of recent research has shown this …

And yes, I plead guilty… In my past life, I also implemented these processes. It was the sign of the times to launch  “MBO” (Management by Objectives)  and other related practices.  But I had the opportunity to learn from others, from very courageous companies and leaders… If today I was to design again a performance management approach I would,

… insist that managers inform their staff regularly (at least twice a year) about the direction of the company (vision, strategy),.. in simple words (no managerial buzz words). Seeing the sense of what you are doing, motivates people.

… ask  managers to regularly make concrete agreements  with their teams and individual staff : “How will you  concretely  contribute to the company vision and strategy  ? How can I help you ?”

… make managers have (at least) monthly 121’s with their staff in order to discuss the past successes and problems, future challenges, development needs. Impossible to manage the performance of a staff member through one or two formal meetings a year…

…not require managers to give a yearly appraisal score, as the motivational value of this score is often negative.

…minimise the administration regarding this process. No forms to be filled in for HR.

… empower managers and staff members to take the ownership of this process

… massively invest in the capability of managers to provide constructive feedback and hold powerful coaching conversations. I see every day how important these capabilities are if you want to take your team to a higher level of performance.

In the VUCA (Volatile – Uncertain – Complex- Ambigue)  environment of today organizations live multiple and frequent changes. This requires another style of leadership characterized by frequent and meaningful interactions between the leader and his team members. Final element inspiring for the suggested activities are the needs and expectations of the younger generations for whom clarity of expectations and continuous feedback is a fundamental request.

In these months of the year I wish all HR people lots of courage and tenacity to make their performance management process a real performance builder !

Want to know more then get in contact with Patrick van Aeken:

Email: patrick.vanaeken@actpartners.com

Phone +32 (0)3 890 60 40