The reputation of performance management has long been plummeting, with many institutions and organisations choosing not to employ the term or principles at all. Performance management is seen by most progressive thinkers (and long-suffering employees) as dehumanising and lacks the agility that many businesses need to thrive, and to let their employees thrive.
Why were the words ‘performance’ and ‘management’ ever put together? Employees of the smallest firms to large-scale organisations have qualms about the term. It is indicative of the idea that “if you aren’t managed, you won’t perform” which to many is degrading, especially those who are passionate about their career. Many workers in a diverse range of fields want to understand and be engaged with their direction and contribute to decisions about the way they work. They actively seek support to perform at their best, yet the management they are given can demotivate and makes it difficult to get their work done.
We recognise that every organisation has different needs, as does each individual within the organisation. In companies where employees operate in predictable and stable surroundings undertaking simple tasks, with little inspiration to be found in the work itself, a more traditional ‘performance management’ approach could be suitable. However, the difficulty of this is the casualties and motivation issues that could come from hitting targets (which is often perceived as good performance.)
Nowadays, in a lot of businesses, the role of employees(the most important and expensive asset that a company has) has evolved in ways such as the 9-5 is becoming a thing of the past. Employees can work anytime, anywhere. Flexibility is taken further in that the corporate office becomes work anywhere, pre-defined work is customised work and employees are given more and more of a voice. More so than ever, certain workplaces now resemble democracies. This is an excellent concept, yet it can be hard to keep track of how well employees are actually performing in their job roles. Collaboration of ideas is common and often leads to innovation which is important in organisation development. Adaptability is valued more than knowledge because technology has enabled us all to have knowledge at our fingertips. It’s what you do with that knowledge that gives employees and thus companies the added edge that is needed in many over saturated markets.
Continuous Learning Drives Change
Collaboration techniques and technology are important in relation to the way employees are managed, as they are crucial to change in the role of employees. If the freedom is there, employees have the chance to become a recognised leader by sharing their ideas, thoughts, concepts etc and building a following from those who are likeminded. Even in companies with a traditional hierarchy, most industries are fast paced and even those in leadership roles must be open to learning new skills and viewing their business life as a continuous education. Traditional performance management software can be limiting and unsuited to the changes that changes that have been taking place within workplace structure and how this affects organisation development.
Performance Management Now
We understand directors often work hard to create the conditions that are needed for great performance and for the organisation to prosper. A democratic workplace provides much freedom for employees with different boundaries than the workplace of the past. Traditional performance management revolving around performance being measured only through numbers is clearly not the most inspiring way of being managed for employees, yet we still need some kind of performance management, not just with the aim of hitting targets, but to ensure job satisfaction remains high, which will ultimately lead to higher performing employees.
When paired with simple clear company principles and purpose, the use of our WorkPAL system can encourage complex, intelligent behaviours from employees. We believe in setting aligned goals, for both the workforce and management to believe in. To ensure clarity of purpose and that employees are working on target, our system tracks and translates values and behaviours which HR management can follow and offer simple and supportive engagement. Our system is a foolproof, up to date way of management and learning resources.
Our appraisals are human focused, not just based on numbers. The software is focused around the staff working together to optimise their abilities within their roles. Evidence of achievement can be analysed against organisational systems, sourced from reports on the individual that will be stored on system with the opportunity to add comments. The system facilitates the study of organisation wide data, following trends that occur and enables the ongoing study of this data for HR or organisation development managers, so the conversations that take place, are the ones that need to happen.
Has a certain appraisal system worked for you? Do you have any plans to change your current system? I’d be interested in hearing any feedback!