In our last blog post titled Managing Performance of Those Who Won’t Manage Performance we cited a few (well seven actually) reasons why managers cringe at the idea of performance reviews. I’m sure many of you can identify with those reasons, but as some of our readers pointed out, you shouldn’t do performance reviews without a good reason in mind. A good point indeed.
Consider the following example as one of those reasons.
Performance Reviews as Part of a Performance Management System
We – as the HR professionals – must become involved in the performance management process. One way to get involved is to bring the employee performance management system up to date and up to speed.
Let’s put technology to work and make it work for the manager, employee, and ultimately the entire organization. There is a new performance management system that integrates performance reviews and management of these reviews with career development and various learning systems.
You have an employee that you are considering promoting, maybe within the year if all goes well. Your employee completes a review, their manager completes the review, and then you determine the gap in their respective responses. This is an opportunity to set some performance goals, and help direct that persons’ career using the objective data that you gathered.
What’s missing? How is the employee going to learn and fulfill the responsibilities of their position, or even grow into a new position? Leaving the goals open ended and waiting for the next review is not effective. Performance management coaching and follow up meetings may help.
However, what if the employee was required to participate in training, take classes, get an HR certification, broaden their vision, and be measured in terms of their new knowledge — would that not be worth the value of this kind of integrated approach?
The point being, organizations are willing to spend thousands of dollars each year to update equipment and computer technology to help produce their product or services more efficiently. When balancing the bottom line, however, they often fail to recognize that their employees, their people, their human capital, are their most valuable commodity when it comes to the quality of what keeps them in business and makes them successful.
Managers need to recognize that a performance review is not a standalone entity to be dreaded as it approaches. Rather it should be viewed as simply a part of an entire performance management system
I would encourage each manager reading this article to assess such a system to see how it would fit within their organization. Integration is easy, performance reviews become solid and employees really benefit from new learning experiences. It takes the subjectivity out of the equation, and provides managers with quantifiable and measurable data.
Some questions to ponder:
- Does your company have a formal review process?
- How does your company make use of performance reviews?
- What are the goals of these reviews?
- Are employees judged, trained, promoted, etc. by objective data?
Comment if you’d like, but most importantly, consider if employees at your company are being held back due to the lack of a formal performance management system. This could be the difference between failure and success.
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