Performance Management Season is Over - Let's Never Do That Again

March 7, 2016 | Carl Rhodes | HCI
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If you’re like many of our members, your company is just coming out of yet another annual performance management cycle. And if you’re like most managers well, anywhere, you’re thinking wow,  that took a lot of time and trouble. If you’re like a lot of employees, you’re bummed out about the whole experience you just had.  And if you’re like me, you’re wondering… so… what did we get out of all that?

Chances are, you didn’t get much. 8% believe that traditional PM drives business value. 10% believe it a good use of time. 90% doubt they yield accurate assessment. CLC couldn’t find any connection between features of PM systems and employee performance. 

So before we all go on to another year of the same ole, now is a great point in the year to reflect.  

My own thinking has been shaped by HCI’s new course on how to do performance management in a fundamentally different way. It has all sorts of good things in it on the primacy of coaching, getting feedback right, and democratizing recognition.

But I want to focus on something else about performance management.

Done right, and thought about more holistically, PM can be THE best arrow in your quiver for communicating and aligning a common strategy and vision throughout the organization.  It can be invaluable for aligning a global, dispersed or remote workforce.  In short, it can do a lot more than document performance gaps. But it has to be done right. And it has to be rethought- not as an isolated process within HR. But as a tool that hits all of talent management’s objectives.

To explore this idea, I’d invite you and a colleague who works on PM directly to both take a class with us. If you're working on PM yourself, you’ll find it invaluable.

But if you work on any of the other things PM can touch and transform (engagement, retention, alignment, buy-in, culture, etc.) you’ll learn how other companies are using non-traditional PM to achieve their objectives. And you’ll both be better off- as will your company.

One more note. We recently stopped doing traditional PM at HCI in favor of this new approach, and I have never been happier with the process.