Making Performance Management a Regular Part of the Job

Jocelyn Bérard, M.Ps. MBA is the Vice President of International Leadership and Business Solutions (Vice-président Leadership et Solutions d’Affaires  —  Internationale) at Global Knowledge Canada

One of the best things about a performance management program — no more lengthy, formal meetings. Rather, successful organizations make conversations about performance plans a regular, if informal, event as projects are being carried out. Such conversations and ongoing coaching are excellent tools for managing people. Further, it’s in the context of such conversations that barriers to progress are discovered. In other words, if you really want to make your program strong, you must exercise it regularly.

In the end, every associate has ownership of his or her performance plan with individual goals linked to business objectives. Let’s say a large banking institution publishes its high-priority objectives on its intranet. From those high-priority objectives the company derives business unit, departmental, and unit objectives that flow from the executive level into individual performance plans. Briggs & Stratton Corp. for example, a Milwaukee-based engine manufacturer, starts the process with its economic value-added measures, which flow into each plant’s goals and then cascade deeper to department, team, and shift levels. If implemented correctly, the aligned performance management system also yields valuable information that can be used in hiring, training, promoting, compensation, and strategic planning among other human resources systems.

While this may make perfect sense to managers, what really piques their interest is that shared ownership means everybody in the company should have to complete only one performance review form. Managers will review those of employees who directly report to them during the review process, but it’s the employees’ responsibility to report their own accomplishments. This is an especially critical time saver for front line leaders who may have dozens of employees reporting to them, sometimes across multiple shifts.

So, how to get started? Most organizations can get a performance management system up and running in less than 100 days. To realize a system’s true potential however, it probably takes closer to three years, with all employees twice completing the process of goal setting, coaching, monitoring, and performance review.

Republished with permission from CA Magazine.

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