“Never confuse accomplishment with activity.” (Renowned basketball coach John Wooden (UCLA))
Performance Management … Managing Performance … Reviewing Performance … (you get the picture) … the mere utterance of these words in some organizations sends the culture and performance plummeting.
Why is this process so revered and, for some, down-right hated?
… I am too busy performing for this talk fest.
… no one takes it seriously – it’s just a compliance thing that wastes my time.
… it’s an opportunity for my manager to tell me all the things I’ve done wrong in the past year.
… it’s not worth the time or paper it’s written on – nothing happens afterwards – there’s no follow through.
… I can’t see any consistency in performance reviews.
… doesn’t matter how you perform – if you are liked you get the benefits.
… and so on ….
Performance Management is a tremendous opportunity for both the business and the individual – if done well. So, let me suggest another way to think and go about managing performance.
Let’s start from the base idea that people go to work to perform. That’s right – if your organisation offers a good working environment with well packaged work in each job, your staff will front each day with the view to performing in their role. Where performance management can become an asset is when it builds on this base with transparent opportunities, recognition and linkages to other processes.
So, let’s replace the Performance Management System now with the Growth and Development Management System. The Growth and Development System will still have the necessary parts to deal with under-performance and will comply with legislative requirements to manage unsatisfactory performance, but this part of the system will not be the focus. Rather, this system promotes:
- ongoing feedback which includes praise as well as suggesting improvements.
- a clear and visible culture of what is expected and what is rewarded – and in what way.
- ongoing opportunities for staff to contribute to improvement through ideas and leading initiatives.
- a clear and visible opportunities for staff that benefit both them individually as well as the organisation, for example, flexible work practices, training and development opportunities, promotional opportunities, major project involvement opportunities, to name a few.
- recognition and rewards.
- a collaborative culture where everyone can speak without fear or favour.
- a clear understanding by all as to how their work fits into the overall business and how vital everyone’s best contribution is.
- an equal sense of value for all efforts and contribution.
Everyone is not the same and everyone’s motivations are different. A healthy Growth and Development Management System [Performance Management System], operating well in a business, can harness the diversity of your team and motivate them into high performance. Wouldn’t that be good!
Contact me today if you would like some help!
Reading an old BRW, Giam Swiegers (CEO Deloitte Australia) mentions (in the ad-Defence Reserves Support) that –
We have a saying in our business, “Leadership isn’t about leading people where they want to go, but where they ought to go”
My thoughts are that Leadership would be a combination of leading to the vision, goals and values of an organisation, married with the individual’s personal vision and goals. The asset we have in our people is their ability to think and the diversity, skills and experience they bring with them to a job. Great leaders harness this competency and strategically link it in the best way to their organization to maximize achievement/success.
But I don’t think this can be successful if individuals’ motivators are not factored in.
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