Performance mangement - unleashing hidden potential for ceos and those who want to be ceo
By Locke Hassrick
Who Likes Performance Reviews
During the review, the employee has their defense system at full alert, they want to be told they are invaluable and most importantly I do not want to be insulted. And, no matter how many times you say the review process is not about raises and promotions, that is exactly what every employee is focused on, a raise and or promotion. While most employees can handle an even appreciate constructive feedback, employees will be insulted if they feel the manager did not take the time to thoughtfully review and articulate performance issues, what is good about their performance and white performance areas need to be developed. Managers oftentimes are not trained to be on the functionality of the HR System, if that, and even if they are right-minded they may be instructed by a higher level in organixxation to ake sure “Bob” the employee knows he messed up. The manager drinks the proverbial Kool-Aid and makes the employee feel bad, lowers their level of Engagement and decreases their productivity. This is not what you want in your performance management system, a performance management system should be focused on increasing performance, not sabotaging it.
The reviewer oftentimes is not properly trained or otherwise equipped to look for a meaningful review. When the employee pushes back, they either crumble or become like the stone figures on Easter Island. This is hardly an environment for a constructive conversation where the employee will feel engaged and motivated to focus on improving in way that will benefit the firm.
If you are saying to yourself, gosh, That does not apply to me as I only hire the best! To make the conversation easier, let's just say that you do hire only the best. There are at least two issues here. Do you need to calibrate your work force or reward such as raises, emotions or you need to perform a reduction in force, that is rank them from the very top employee to the very bottom one, you need a Performance Management system to do so. They cannot all be ranked number one. Additionally, if they are top-notch when you hire, a mediocre performance system will drive your top performers to become mediocre or even at poor performers. And if they really are top-notch, you will simply drive them to another better managed organization.
Make Your HR Department Relevant!
- Typically the HR department reports to the CFO, not the CEO. Their voice is muffled and not considered strategic.
- Despite the lip service at the HR department is a partner, the perception in many organizations is the HR just gets in the way of getting things done. The feeling is that they screech compliance and threatened lawsuits will drown the organization if things don't go their way. Result, managers and even Executives don't engage with them as they should.
- An HR department does not directly generate cash. They are considered a cost center. Many CEOs and other executives simply have a hard time paying attention to actions that don't generate cash.
Do Your Own Math
- What is the cost of losing your top employee? Multiply that by 5% of your organization.
- What is the cost of holding one unproductive head count? Multiply that by 5% of your organization.
- What is the dollar value of getting one, three, 5% more out of your average employee?
Be A Real Leader
If you review the literature on leadership, you will find that there are hundreds of characteristics of a good leader. I have boiled them down to just three. They all start with the letter “V” , so you can remember them forever: Vision, voice and velocity. See it, say it, and make it happen. Here is how they relate to Performance Management:
Vision – expand on your dream for the organization to include Performance Management. Voice – articulate that Vision to everyone, managers, employees, up and down the chain. Make sure they understand why, how, and when. Velocity – make it happen, keep the pressure up and enforce the discipline in your organization by holding everyone accountable, most importantly yourself. Develop a reporting system that tracks the goals, the appraisals and the feedback.
If your HR department understands the three V's on leadership and get on board with a good system to make sure all employees are aligned within the V’s of the corporation's goals and objectives, an HR can lead the way to the strongest contribution to the success of the corporation.
Unleash The Hidden Potential
- Recognize you want to change! You want to because you need to and Flash or will benefit from it.
- Identify key stakeholders in your organization. Use your voice Get them on board. You will need your Collective voice to get the rest of the organization on board too.
- Assess what you have in terms of Performance Management. Understand the good and the bad and how it relates to your corporate culture. You will probably want to use an outside consulting firm to facilitate this.
- Define your high-level organizational goals. Each employee need to contribute to these goals according to their role. If the role does not support the goals, you either need to decide if the roll is really needed or if you need to work on better defining your goals. These goals will be slow down to all levels of the organization. These goals should be measurable or how else will you know that you achieved them?
- Select a point person for this. This should be at least a VP role; the exact title may vary based on organizational structure.
- Manage whoever you put in charge of the assessment activity, whether it is an internal and / or an external (i.e., consulting firm) actor.
- Support this effort. Simply, executive support is the difference between success and failure.
- Make sure a detailed plan of how Performance Management will be rolled out is developed and make sure you, the executive, play a key role in this. Key features should include templates for gold definition and assignment, self evaluation , performance feedback, and the actual appraisal. Oracle, sap, workday, in four and a host of other giant software firms makes software to facilitate this. Well I am not advocating using a spreadsheet for Performance Management, a spreadsheet, however, is better than all of these complex systems if the systems are not used.
- Monitor activities to make sure activities match the plan.
- Monitor the goals. Are they being mat? Examine the goals by the top-level goal and see who in the chain of command is meeting them or not meeting them. Is there a disconnect? Or most people meeting the goal, yet the overall goals are not being met? That would indicate either the performance reviews need to be adjusted or there is a bottleneck in your organization.
- Reassess. After you have completed the performance review, assess what went well and what needed Improvement. What levels of corporate and individual goals were attained?
- Start again with the lessons learned from the last performance process. This should be viewed as an ongoing process that is constantly reviewed and incrementally improved to meet the dynamics of your market and organization.
The next step to unleash your organization’s potential lies with you. Go for it! We are rooting for you and your organization.
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