The heated debate over how to assess employee performance was highlighted recently by two back to back articles on BusinessWeek.com.
One day, Yahoo’s adoption of a forced ranking system was a headline. The next day, Microsoft’s decision to end its forced ranking policy was featured. The Microsoft story was previously an article titled, How Microsoft Lost Its Mojo, in Vanity Fair.
Within days, former General Electric CEO Jack Welch added his 2 cents, defending the practice in a Wall Street Journal opinion column headlined, “Rank-and-Yank?” That’s Not How It’s Done. Read more…
There is one common management failing that causes businesses to stagnate and even fail. It’s the practice of tolerating mediocre performers.
It’s not the dishonest or undependable people who keep your business from excelling. No, we’re smart enough to cut our losses and fire those losers fast. It’s the mediocre, just-doing-enough-to-get-by people who keep us from building an exceptional, winning team that outperforms the competition.
Here are three of the most common reasons mediocrity is tolerated: Read more…
Think of performance feedback like traffic signals and signs. They are indicators that keep you moving, tell you when to stop and guide you in the right direction.
What if your performance management process was like this? Simple and easy to understand.
Most traditional performance processes are cumbersome, complicated and often do not align with organizational goals or culture. Many of us don’t see the value. Read more…
Want to give thanks this week for a tip about performance reviews? Here it is.
Turn the darn things on their head, shake them and see what falls out.
Root around in the pile of rubble. By this time of year in many companies, forms are long finished, reviewed and approved. So you’re not going to find self appraisals, competency assessments or even ratings in the pile.
But you will find fingerprints on the debris, and here’s where we get to my point: Read more…
When employee performance is managed effectively, it drives higher performance, produces higher levels of engagement, and reduces turnover among the better performers.
It also provides information needed for staffing, career management, individual development plans, and reward management. Research studies have confirmed effective performance management is instrumental in building and sustaining a high performance culture.
But despite its proven value, many employers allow managers to downplay their responsibility, treating it as an “HR requirement” that has to be tolerated. Read more…
Companies can get a boost in performance and results by communicating standards of acceptable performance.
The best companies, the ones that stay on top, get better every day. One way they do this is by deliberately raising and enforcing standard levels of “acceptable performance.” This drives steady gains in individual and organization effectiveness.
Meanwhile, mediocre companies lose ground as they plod along, merely maintaining the same performance levels over time. Winning organizations move ahead while the mediocre, at best, merely run in place. Read more…
By Dr. Tim Baker
Before we start analyzing performance, which is directly related to the next two conversations and indirectly related to the final two, it is important that we understand what we mean by the term “performance.”
I think there has been — and continues to be — too much focus on a person’s job and not enough on the role the person is expected to play in the organization.
In other words, we tend to confine our performance discussions to the job description (JD) and I think this is a mistake. Read more…
Don’t get me started on forced ranking – lovingly referred to as “rank-and-yank” — the much maligned performance management system that forces managers to evaluate employees on a bell curve and then boot those at the bottom.
I don’t like it and never have. As I said last year, “it’s an arbitrary, formula-heavy performance system that’s obsessed with cutting people down instead of helping to build them up. Plus, it’s the brainchild of Jack Welch — and few executives today can execute it like Neutron Jack did.”
It’s on my radar this week because two big and notable companies — Microsoft and Yahoo — were in the news concerning their use of forced rankings. Read more…
Employee performance is not HR’s responsibility.
We should be able to agree that the management of employee performance is a day-to-day responsibility of managers and supervisors.
Extensive research has confirmed that effective managers trigger better results; they are instrumental in creating a high performance culture where people have a palpable commitment to the success of their organization. Ineffective managers have been the subject of endless Dilbert comic strips.
The frequent articles and blogs criticizing performance management practices ignore or are silent on what research has shown is central to the effective management of performance. Read more…
Editor’s Note: Sometimes readers ask about past TLNT articles. That’s why we republish a Classic TLNT post every Friday that some of you have requested.
I’ve never been much of a fan for the performance review process
I’m with people like Dr. John Sullivan, who says that it is the one HR process that “everyone universally hates — employees hate it … managers hate doing it … and HR hates processing (them).” He feels that the problem is that reviews focus almost entirely on employee traits and not really on performance.
Or, there’s UCLA business professor Sam Culbert, who says about reviews that, “First, they’re dishonest and fraudulent. And second, they’re just plain bad management.” Read more…