Thursday, December 10, 2009
Key to Successful Employee Performance Management Implementation
How do you know you have a successful performance management system? That's when your employees' performance are improving and you have a definite way of telling. How do you know it isn't working? If managers are doing as little as possible to achieve minimum compliance, which is probably to submit shabbily filled out performance appraisal sheets.
If there is one thing that will make your performance management system work, what would it be?
First, let me tell you what it won't be.
It won't be the level of sophistication of the system. You can use all sorts of technologies including balanced score cards, competency-based system, 360 degrees, etc. Without the key, they will all be for naught.
You can spend all your time calibrating your appraisal criteria and do everything you can to make performance goal setting and appraisal as objective, accurate and fair as possible but without the key, your employees won't appreciate any of it.
It helps to use all the latest technologies available out there to set goals, monitor and evaluate performance. Automation for example makes the tasks easier and information easier to stack for you to determine performance trends and make relevant performance-related decisions. That, however is still not the key.
Is the suspense killing you? Alright, here it is. The key to successful implementation of a performance management system is a complete buy-in of the whole concept by all the users from the managers to the individual employees. As I said earlier, it doesn't matter if you have the most sophisticated, most technologically advanced performance management structure or the crudest one. What matters is how committed your managers are in doing what needs to be done and how well the employees are responding.
How to get the complete buy-in? By incorporating change management from the inception to institutionalization of your performance management system. So, the question now is how did you incorporate change management in your implementation plan? If you did not deliberately draw a plan and followed it, I can already guess that you are experiencing a lot of resistance from the recipients of the new system.
Moving from a no system or from a strictly performance appraisal system to an honest to goodness complete performance management system IS ONE BIG SCARY LEAP. This is why the transition has to be managed well. A lot of selling and championing by both HR and organizational leadership has to be done if this system is to succeed. One more thing, a big lump of your change management activity has to do with enabling everyone to use the system through thorough training. When, I say thorough, I mean not just a half-day briefing or a whole day orientation but a thorough training on how to use whatever system you are implementing. Click here to find out what I mean with thorough performance management training. Speaking of training, a big chunk of it should be on empowering the performance managers to discuss performance and engage their staff in a coaching relationship.
Not all companies can invest in all those fancy performance management systems but all of them, whether big or small, need one. For as long as you have the five basic elements of performance management, you'll do fine. What matters really is the quality of communication that is happening between the manager and the employees as they go through those five elements.
Call ExeQserve if you need help in setting up your performance management system for your company or if you need help in making your existing system work better. We can help you:
- Design a suitable performance management system for your company
- Come up with a change management plan
- Facilitate the training of all users or help you run your own performance management training
- Design a performance-based incentive scheme for your employees.
-Provide the necessary coaching as you go through your implementation process.
-Or do whatever you want us to do :)
Related Training: Performance Management Training