Performance management practice offers an illusion

Today’s Performance management only offers an illusion of giving feedback to an employee to drive individual performance. In reality, the system serves to justify the rating and the annual increment. In reality, performance management systems can contain the following issues:

  • Inability to motivate
  • Inexperienced managers having performance dialogues
  • Mercurial engagement levels of supervisors
  • Incapability to assess cross-functional collaboration
  • Focus on targets than building competencies

Today, managers are in a predicament unknown in the ’80s or ’90s.

Changes which impact performance management practice

  1. There are and will continue to be multiple generations in the workplace – a) Traditionalists b) Baby Boomers c) Generation X  d) Millennials e) and soon the Generation 2020.
  2. Teams are based not just in multiple locations in one geography but in several time zones across the globe.
  3. There is an overload of information available; Sifting through to only reach out to the relevant people data.
  4. Enterprises are just only linear, but also a matrix organisation.
  5. Employees now need to collaborate and coordinate with multiple stakeholders.

“Only 8 per cent of global organisations believe their performance management process is worth the time they put into it, but the race is on to change that. – Josh Bersin”

Performance management practice has to change

What follows are the changes which will need to be made if Performance management is to survive in the future.

1. Spotlight on Employee Development

Transformation in Performance Management will enable the employees and managers to perceive the performance assessment differently. Rather than an annual backwards-looking process, managers will now sit down for continuous performance dialogues. The conversations will be forward-looking, They will only discuss what the supervisor sees for the employee in the next 12 months.

2. Employee goal-setting not a top-down approach but a dynamic agile and frequent process

Goal setting can no longer be an annual exercise stemming from the goals of the manager and their supervisors. A certain flexibility and agility factor is to be built in to continuously align to the change in business and organisational strategy leading to individual employees. The goal-setting process is enabled to share goals and team view of goals to foster a culture of collaboration.

3. Social Performance Management

Employees today experience minuscule and far between feedback.  Millennials demand ongoing dialogue. Herein technology comes in rather handy with the use of social tools in any HCM Cloud System to foster continuous dialogue or social recognition. The long and short of it is – Gone are the days of an annual meagre snapshot, the days of continuous feedback with social elements are here.

4. Two Heads are Better than One

With individuals applying their unique skills, a team always comes up with an effective solution. With the rise of geographically spread diverse teams, an emerging trend is a necessity to provide for shared goals allotted across teams.

5. Absolute Performance than Relative Performance – No Force Fit into a Bell Curve

The bell curve has been widely done away with! This brings in a sense of collected efforts achieving a common goal collaboratively. Employee A is not relatively ranked against Employee B but measured against set performance standards and benchmarks.

6. Inclusion of Peer Feedback – Use of mobile-friendly performance management APPS

Team members will now provide feedback to each other on their goals to create a culture of peer feedback and recognition. This can happen through the use of mobile-friendly CLOUD HCM products. Social feedback comes as an inbuilt feature in today’s HCM solutions.

7. Focus on the Lower than Average Performers

Performance Management does not only sieve out the bottom performers and weans them away from the organisation. It is pertinent to rethink the performance standards and the development mechanism to develop and re-skill the less than average performers and fit them in roles where they would be able to realise their potential.

8. Disjoin the Compensation and Development Conversations

We need to remember that there can be no “entitlement thinking”. Organisations are mindful that compensations will be based on several factors apart from the performance such as:

    • Customer Orientation and Impact
    • Dearth or Abundance of skills
    • Competencies

Although this is a tough stance, the time is near when compensations and ongoing developments will run parallel.

In the months and years to come, performance management practice will evolve to become real-time.  It will be bespoke and monogrammed to each individual and not regressive. Leaders will assume the role of coaches for personal and professional development than just evaluate targets achieved. The crucial question will be the evolution of a “Growth Mindset”. At the end of the day, leaders now need to understand how to manage a global set of diverse workers and create systems to enhance their careers while accomplishing business results and personal fulfilment.