Results Through Leadership:


‘Performance Management’ – new tricks for an old dog!

The phrase Performance Management typically congers up feelings and memories of required annual reviews, forms and ratings that were not only less than meaningful but seen by both those on the sending and receiving ends as toil, something to be avoided if at all possible and most likely justified by bean counters and personnel people trying to justify annual wage increases.  Formal reviews, while serving some purposes, are rarely motivational and often ineffective and misused.

So, Performance Management got a bad name and less-than-desirable reputation along the way!

Perhaps we should find a new name for this old dog, but as a minimum, some new tricks are in order.  Effective management of performance is part of the day-to-day culture of an organization ….. it is a way of operating that either contributes to or detracts from everyone’s motivation and commitment to success, and, it is everyone’s responsibility.

Effective performance management depends upon clear expectations, individual responsibility for self-assessment and self-development and (if one has direct reports) assisting in the development of others.

At every level of the organization outcomes, results, goals, deliverables must be clear and aligned with overall organizational strategy.  This is one level of alignment that represents “what” we’re intending to do or accomplish.

Another, and sometimes more difficult level of alignment, is based on clarity around the skills and behaviors (at every organizational level) that are necessary to support the overall organizational strategy.  These are not only the technical or specialist skills required of all organizations, but also include process skills, such as effective interactive skills, conflict resolution, problem-solving, cross-boundary collaboration skills, awareness of one’s impact on others, project management, cross-cultural understanding (esp for global organizations), etc.  This represents “how” we’re intending to go about the work of the organization and is a second level of alignment

The combination of all of these factors represents the whole of performance management.  People are generally self-aware of how they’re doing.  Management and leadership practices must expect, support, coach and develop individuals to make ongoing adjustments to their own ability to deliver results (overall goals/objectives)  and skill development.  Skills are the ‘means to the end’ ….. skills are how results/goals/objectives are achieved.

For the manager of others, performance is not a ‘hands off’ proposition, however it is much more than the old annual review process, which should only summarize what every person already knows about their performance.  The most impactful near-term feedback is done in a moment by moment, informal, manner ……. sincere, effectively communicated, informal feedback is the most important part of performance management for the manager of others (along with facilitating self-assessment) …………. do you and the managers in your organization have the skills to do this?

How is your organization or business doing in terms of performance management???


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