Almost $500,000 later, the new performance management system increased disputes, lowered morale, and, in one department, caused a workplace stoppage, and still there is no productivity improvement in sight.
When performance management is identified as a key lever to improving performance, nearly always everyone jumps on the existing system and declares it as a failure. This is probably prompted by the system's inability to speak up or retaliate and the fact that the architects of the system are usually gone or are heading for the bunkers.
In fact re-designing the paperwork and relaunching the system rarely helps at all.
Most performance management / appraisal systems are now linked to business strategy, have measurable KPI's based on a Balanced Scorecard approach, focus on personal development, feedback from colleagues, direct reports and in some cases customers, and prescribe regular reporting and reviews.
So why doesn't performance improve, now that there is adequate information about performance?
The answer is relatively simple lack of ability to engage people in the performance-related discussion means that it often ends up in conflict, strained or broken relationships and avoidance of performance reviews.
Mercers' 2002 Performance Management Survey identified that the key barrier to successful performance management is inadequate manager skills in 'giving feedback'. 53% of organisations identified this to be the top barrier.
Research reconfirms common sense. If you want change and outcomes, don't spend money on new systems build your people's capabilities to optimise the operation of the current system, then refine that system. The key to optimising the system you have is most likely through providing support to staff to enable them to provide effective performance feedback.
If you are interested in more information please give us a call on +61 412 026 909 and ask to speak to one of our consultants.
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