There has been quite a bit of chatter in various forums and articles online about the failure of the performance management system in organisations and, it seems there are quite a lot of disillusioned managers and staff alike who are fed up with wasting time and effort on a process that delivers them nothing.
The 2014 report2 on Global Human Capital Trends noted that only 8% of all companies surveyed felt that their performance management process was worth the time they put into it while more than 70% were planning on re-engineering their performance management process.
This new Deloitte’s report highlights as its second prediction for this year – performance management with the heading ‘Performance management will continue to be redesigned’ and it cites a number of reasons why performance management processes just don’t seem to be hitting the mark including; the influx of younger workers bringing with it the increased demand for skills that has seen companies focus their energies on coaching & development, as well as the change in reporting lines where teams are often lead by team leaders and not the more formal management structure.
Despite these changes in focus and structure that is no doubt affecting the time and effort put into formal performance management processes, I still think the issue is almost over scrutinised – of course there can and probably is, any number of reasons that can be seen to be affecting the effectiveness of performance management – but, these are distractions and peripheral to the real problem.
The problem we have is that we are no longer taking the time and making the effort to:
- Make sure that all managers are engaged and viscerally connected to the organisation’s strategy – that is that they have buy-in and a bit of rubber on the road and,
- We are not training managers in the ‘why’ of performance let alone the ‘how’.
If a manager or team leader doesn’t understand motivation and how to give effective feedback or, in fact communicate effectively with their staff, then they are just not equipped to manage the performance of their employees.
Likewise, if the manager or team leader is not ‘engaged’ with the organisation and/or has no line of sight to the overarching strategy and how they contribute to it, well, how can they provide this to their employees?
Finally, if a manager or team leader has never had the opportunity to learn how to develop effective goals, measures and KPIs then how can then be expected to come up with meaningful KPI’s for their teams and the individuals in them?
Training managers and team leaders into the how and why of performance management is an urgent necessity. Only then can we expect to get anything out of the processes.
Organisations seem to waste a lot of time, effort and dollars on band-aiding the problem. I just can’t understand why they can’t see the root cause and then take steps to fix it.
Sure, it will take quite a bit of coordinated time and effort and, no doubt dollars too but, once it’s done and, you’ve addressed the problem well, the performance management processes you spent so much on will work for your organisation, your managers/team leaders and, most importantly for your employees and, I bet, once you’ve got it right you’ll reap the benefits – not just a happier, more engaged workforce but also a more productive one – and those outcomes will make the boardroom and/or your shareholders content as well.