Oops … We Did It Again

March 21, 2016 | Carl Rhodes, CEO, Human Capital Institute | HCI
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If you’re like many HCI members, your company is just coming out of yet another annual performance management cycle. And if you're a manager like most managers from, well, anywhere, you’re probably thinking, “Wow, that took a lot of time and trouble.”  And if you're an employee like many of employees, you’re frustrated with the whole process because you were given stale feedback and assessed against unclear measures. And if you're a leader like most leaders, you’re left wondering, “So…what did we get out of all of that?”

Chances are you didn’t get much. 

According to recent research, only 8% of practitioners believe that traditional Performance Management drives business value.  Only 10% believe it is a good use of organizational time and resources. Equally, if not more, concerning is that 9 out 10 individuals doubt that the traditional Performance Management process yields accurate assessments on employees. In fact, the Corporate Leadership Council (CLC) could not find any relationship between Performance Management system features and employee performance. An HCI research report in 2015 echoed this, finding that more than 70% of HR practitioners report that traditional Performance Management reviews are ineffective at improving employee performance.

So before we all go on to another year of the same old, same old, I think it is a great time to reflect.

When you approach it more holistically and implement it correctly, Performance Management can be the best arrow in your quiver that can help develop your employees to perform, and educate your managers how to lead. It can be invaluable process to identify key strengths among employees; deploy those individuals to projects and tasks that best align with their skill sets; effectively coach employees who are struggling forward; and turn recognition from a top-down, largely dismissed exercise to a continuous process that springs from the grass roots with legitimacy. But Performance Management has to be done right to achieve these goals. And to implement it effectively, it must be approached differently - not as an isolated process within HR, but as a tool that impacts all of the objectives in talent management.

To explore this idea, I invite both you and a colleague that works on Performance Management directly to take a class with us.  If you are working on Performance Management yourself, you’ll find this an invaluable course. But even if you work on any of the other things Performance Management can touch and transform (such as leadership development, high potentials, etc.) this course will teach you how other companies are using non-traditional Performance Management to achieve their objectives. You and your colleague will both be better off as a result of this knowledge, and so will your company.

One final note: At HCI, we recently stopped doing traditional Performance Management in favor of this new, holistic approach, and I have never been happier with the process.