The key to revitalizing performance management

Raise your hand if you know many people who enjoy conducting performance reviews - or being evaluated.

If it’s hard to come up with even a short list, you’ve just highlighted why so many organizations struggle with performance management. In fact, there’s a tremendous amount of debate about performance management today - including whether the process should even be maintained.

But while there may be many ways to improve the tools supporting performance management, there’s no escaping that managing people is a primary accountability in many jobs.

So if you’re grappling with how best to revitalize your performance management process, a good place to start is by recognizing performance management, at its essence, is really a leadership process, not an administrative one.

There’s room, of course, to revisit how the organization sets objectives, evaluates performance and align contributions and rewards.

But that’s really secondary to the quality of the relationships between people managers and the members of their team. A manager’s level of skill and comfort in dealing with day-to-day people management activities and issues is a far more significant driver of organizational performance than the mechanics of a formal performance management process.

The hard reality is that not everyone is equally adept at managing people. To that end, effective performance management starts with three foundational considerations:

Once you have confirmed the leadership context of performance management, you’ll be better able to revisit and refine the tools you provide to help leaders with their people management accountabilities. Such refinements may include:

Ultimately, performance management is about a lot more than forms and rating scales. More importantly, a holistic approach to building management capabilities and commitment can be the key to unleashing your organization’s performance.

Talk to us about how to revitalize your performance management process.