Performance Management – two words that don’t bring a smile to any face in an organization. The managers, who must sit down with each team member and review the year, find it tedious. The employees, who doubt the process and its outcomes, find it redundant. The human resources folks, who must make sure this painful process is seen to completion, struggle to sell it.
More and more firms are finally belling the cat and the bell curve! They are doing away with the annual or semi-annual process altogether. Not that employees don’t need to be reviewed or given feedback. Just in the hope that there must be a better way to do it. For some, it is also making huge business sense.
Performance Review Hours
Do you know why Deloitte eventually decided to let go of the Annual Performance review?
“… the need for change didn’t crystallize until we decided to count things. Specifically, we tallied the number of hours the organization was spending on performance management—and found that completing the forms, holding the meetings, and creating the ratings consumed close to 2 million hours a year. As we studied how those hours were spent, we realized that many of them were eaten up by leaders’ discussions behind closed doors about the outcomes of the process. We wondered if we could somehow shift our investment of time from talking to ourselves about ratings to talking to our people about their performance and careers—from a focus on the past to a focus on the future.”
2 million hours a year! Knock off some hours from that and your new process is already a winner!
Invest in Managers
In our view, the root of the performance management crisis is the managers. You have taken your best performers, giving them additional responsibilities and a team to manage. That doesn’t necessarily imply that they will know how to manage the team. Performance Management is a skill just like every functional skill you train your people for. Managers can do an exceptional job if they are coached on setting smart goals, giving feedback, listening and creating development plans. This doesn’t get done through HR manuals and a few slides. This needs practice and the right tools.
If even a small percentage of the 2 million hours are spent coaching the managers, the outcome will be hugely different. Managers and their teams will start believing in the process and investing time for it. All this will have a direct bearing on business results and employee engagement.
We will deep dive into some of these skills soon – goal setting, feedback, etc.
What is the best and worst performance management practice you have come across? Let’s share and learn from each other!