Challenges in Performance Management
Performance management is a system whereby both parties, employee and superior, shared the responsibilities and tasks to achieve organisation goals. It is supposedly a great tool to drive performance drive. Sad story is most of employees find that it is a hassle task to them and they know only it helps them to get their “rewards”.
There are a number of challenges to effective performance management. Challenges can include but are not limited to:-
- failure to write good Key Result Areas (KRAs) and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs),
- failure to communicate the company direction to the staff,
- failure to achieve buy-in of the strategy,
- and not giving your team the necessary empowerment or tools to accomplish their jobs.
Besides, the employees believe their performance rating would be decided by the company. Most of the organisation use performance stack ranking to determine the staff performance ranking. Performance stack ranking is a process where employees are pitted against one another as the department heads (managers) is encumbered to fill out a bell curve of annual performance for their team. Frustration and unhappiness are created due to the forced plot against arbitrary curve and it creates anxiety for the manager to convey the message to their subordinates. So what normally the people manager will tell to the staff is their performance ranking is decided by HR Department or top management of the company. (Further reading: Josh Bersin (Forbes) "The Myth of the Bell Curve: Look for the Hyper-Performers”)
Edward Lawler, organizational development guru, mentioned in an interview on the topic of the performance management process, "every organisation I’m aware of has trouble doing performance appraisals well and effectively."
Edward suggests in his book ‘Talent: Making People Your Competitive Advantage’, on having an effective performance management, 4 things need to be accomplished:-
- It needs to define and produce agreement on what type of performance is needed. (Having an end goal in mind)
- It needs to guide the development of individuals so that they have the skills and knowledge needed to perform effectively.
- It needs to motivate individuals to perform effectively.
- It needs to provide data to the organisation’s human capital information system.
Performance management is a continuing process. Department heads or line managers are required to continually communicate strategy to the staff, assessing progress and adapting to changing conditions. The more everyone is on the same page, the more you can drive the right decisions organization-wide.