"Since time immemorial, all great things we have achieved as a race have happened when we have acknowledged a problem, approached with an open mind sacrificing our self-interests and tried to work towards a solution that can be implemented. Great are the times for those who are in Performance Management because we can be the winds of positive change for a better future."
We, humans, are truly something.
While the jury maybe undecided on whether we truly know what we want, history has repeatedly shown us that we surely know what we don’t.
Whenever good things have deteriorated to dogmas and rituals, we humans have always found ways to reject them to move on and search a newer paradigm.
That is exactly the crossroads we are on Employee Performance Management put simply, the art and science and everything in between of managing the workforce performance to ensuring that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
So, let’s look at the basics.
Why Employee Performance Management?
Since all humans don’t think alike and communication is subject to individual interpretation, how does a company become better-managed, a company that executes efficiently?
Okay, so what’s so difficult about it give people tasks and threaten them to execute.
Really, you think arm twisting still works in the knowledge economy that’s leaking talent to freelance and alternative careers?
No, in a connected world, getting an assignment that matches one’s skills is not very difficult all the more reason, why the employee is gradually becoming more important than the customer.
Hmmm, so what’s wrong with the current practices?
Well, currently, performance management brings to mind a form that needs to be filled up around the time of year end.
Interestingly, this form filling exercise is related to what I get in bonus or increment for next year.
It’s exactly like a self-selling exercise that I had to go through when I was being recruited.
But excuse me, why do I have to sell myself again when everyone is supposed to know what I am doing and why.
Yes, it’s kind of a farce, but people work for money and appraisal helps to give everyone an opportunity to claim a piece of the pie
Hmm, that’s alright as long as you are saying so here is $ 100 to be distributed among all of you now start selling yourself. But no, you are saying this is performance management. This is how we help you become a high performing individual.
And, that’s exactly where the problem is.
The thing about performance is that as a self-respecting member of the workforce, I need to know
- what am I supposed to do,
- what results will determine success or failure; and
- how can I improve or change to do better
How is this exactly happening in this form-filling exercise, when the only thing I know is that it’s related to rewards money and promotions how can I be expected to speak my mind but express superlatives –“Oh, I have a great Boss!!! I did great (Sometimes, claiming credit for a colleague’s work), and I can do so much more, Yada Yada Yada Yada ….”
Oh, don’t judge me it’s the mindlessness of the process that makes me so. Come on, do something about it.
Oh Ok, so why don’t you tell me what you want
For starters, I know what I don’t want.
What I definitely don’t want is this annual appraisal farce.
I also don’t want any performance related discussion linked to rewards. The purpose of performance related discussion is to help me improve, not make me become defensive or feel threatened.
Finally, if your real intent is to make me perform better, you should provide me clarity on the 3 things I mentioned before my job, my performance indicators and real time feedback.
Aha, so we are now progressing. That’s great.
Oh, don’t think so at all. What I am asking for has been found to be really very difficult to implement.
Everywhere I see none knows for sure what their job objectives are. And with all the fast paced changes nowadays, things become even more unclear.
I am not even sure how the work I am doing is helping my company. Does it really matter, I sometimes wonder.
Beyond the farcical happy faces everyone puts on, I fear, lies the impending storm when the pack of cards will come crashing down.
But we are trying so hard to make you comfortable and hope you do your best
Surely, you are and if you have the deep pockets, you really are taking care of me as a doting Mother the office parties, the MacBook, the fantastic lunch, the pool and the freebies every weekend.
But really, you are doing all this to make me stay and give you more. I don’t want to be just fed fat comfortable I am here to express myself to help you grow and I should be made comfortable around that.
So, let’s discuss
- What are the key organizational objectives and how these will be measured?
- How is my job related to this and how will my performance make a difference?
- How can I get inputs from everyone I work with to help improve each day to contribute better to the overall goal?
Thus, let’s start the chatter.
Since time immemorial, all great things we have achieved as a race have happened when we have acknowledged a problem, approached with an open mind sacrificing our self-interests and tried to work towards a solution that can be implemented.
Great are the times for those who are in Performance Management because we can be the winds of positive change for a better future.
About the author :
Souvik Majumdar is Chief Customer Success of GroSum, a cloud-based performance management software that helps build a goal-oriented and continuous feedback-based work culture. He is passionate about employee engagement and has spent the last decade working with organizations to improve their performance management processes and implement online systems.