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The speed of business development and market disruptions are a common place in the current experience-driven economy. Performance management has always been a major agenda for organisations to achieve their business goals, as well as building upon new competencies that create sustainable growth.
Today, firms invest an enormous amount of resources in building up a sound performance management (PM) system that focuses on productivity, capability building and ongoing learning.
Organisations operating on the transactional premise of managing employee performance seem to be a major challenge for real growth. This form of “business as usual of performance review” exercise at designated periods (annually or mid-year appraisals) can be limiting or even hurting the growth of the organisation as a whole.
These ‘exercises’ have tendencies to produce the following if left unchecked:
- “Glossing-up” of actual performance outcomes. Some employees seek to complete goals that “matters” and adds compounding evidence to their advancement chances.
- “Recency effect” of employee performance where they complete a significant amount of output nearing the appraisal period.
- Erosion of employee motivation with intense competition for scarce resources to achieve goals earmarked during the period of review.
- Managers and employees’ perspectives funneled just to align to this snapshot of performance. Such evaluations can be distorted without the full context of employee
- Adding significant levels of stress for employees to press for goal achievements.
- Consuming tremendous amount of time from all parties and requiring careful execution to make it successful.
Performance management as deliberate experience-continuum
Managing performance is the ‘real’ work for organisations. Leaders and managers need to spend quality time working, to get the best out of their employees whether individually or as a team working every day consistently, and not just building great review processes.
Considering the evolving nature of manager/employee performance relationship, leaders should move away from the transactional model of employee performance management to a deliberate continuum of performance management experience for significant organisation growth.
There are no fixed ingredients, combinations or formulas for such experience-continuum of performance management. To put it simply, it is a people-centric approach that anchors on long-term performance and development of the organisation.
Tips for managers when adopting the PM Experience-Continuum
- Promote a culture of coaching and feedback
- Intrinsic Rewards: Give timely recognition to motivate employees. Actively ‘catch employees when they do something right’.
- Communicate clarity of expectations and goals (SMART principles)
- Empower employees to co-plan work operations with supervisors
- Facilitate the alignment of goals with business objectives
- Provide accessibility of supporting systems, resources and tools
- Encourage continuous learning and improvement
- Leverage the use of technology as an enabler to monitor the progress of employees’ performance in real-time and provide meaningful feedback accordingly.
Building a culture of a continuum of performance experience
The merits of appraisals still have a place in providing a check on the organisation’s health status and should not be discounted entirely. These appraisals are checkpoints for new growth. Transforming from the transactional model to the deliberate experience of PM, should be phased in accordance with business alignment and engagement level of employees.
Moving forward, the ingrained experience culture of performance from workforce requires leaders and managers to adopt these performance management practices with ‘their eyes open’. They need to consistently communicate and review expectations through critical conversations with employees.
They also need to empower employees to contribute and make calibrations for stretched goals actively. It is vital for leaders to focus on the experience that drives alignment and productivity in a concerted direction for sustainable business growth.
Johnson Wong, L&D Consultant, CET Global Pte Ltd. A design-thinker and learning strategist, he has more than 15 years of experience working in learning and development for the higher education sector and private training entities. He has conducted numerous research studies, facilitation and training workshops in both private and public schools.
Johnson exemplifies lifelong learning throughout his career and has earned diverse range of credentials to include Master of Science, Bachelors Degree in Engineering Management, Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management, WSQ Diploma in Adult and Continuing Education and WSQ ACTA.
He is appointed Associate Adult Educator by Adult Educators’ Professionalisation (AEP), Institute of Adult Learning. At CET Global, he provides services for clients in learning design, learning technology solutions (e-courses) and training advisory.
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